Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

3 Ways to Save When Registering Your Trademark While trademark registration can be expensive for many entrepreneurs and small business owners, there are options for tamping down costs.

By Jaia Thomas Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last year the United States Patent and Trademark Office collected $137.7 million in revenue for trademark-related filing fees and services. Trademark registrations can be an extremely costly process for many entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Related: How to Avoid Trademark Infringement

Here are three ways to save when registering a trademark:

1. Apply online. The trademark office provides applicants the option of submitting an application online or filing a paper application. A reduced filing fee is available to those who apply online. It costs $375 to file a paper application versus $275 to complete an electronic one. Because of the lower cost involved, more and more applicants are submitting applications online. Of the 106,123 trademark applications filed in the first quarter of this year, only 637 of them were paper ones. That's just .06 percent.

2. Limit the number of goods and services. Applicants are required to specify on an application the goods and services that the trademark will protect (such as hats or shirts). Understand that the filing fee is set per good or per service, meaning that if someone registers a mark in connection with just one good, the fee is $275. If it's registered for 10 goods, the fee jumps to $2,750.

One way to reduce costs is to limit the number of goods and services listed on an application. Think strategically about current and future uses for a trademark before haphazardly listing an exorbitant number of goods and services.

Related: Counteracting Copyright and Trademark Infringement Online

3. Use the trademark. The law requires applicants to demonstrate use of the trademark in interstate commerce prior to receiving a trademark registration. The interstate commerce requirement is fulfilled when the applicant uses the mark on goods that have been sold and transported across state lines or sells services to customers in other states or countries.

If someone hasn't yet used the mark in interstate commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so, the trademark office will allow for filing an application on an "intent-to-use" basis. But more fees will acrue with this type of filing. With such a designation, additional filing fees must be paid once the mark is used in interstate commerce. If time is not of the essence, people can wait to submit their applications until after the trademark has been used in interstate commerce.

Related: Want a Celebrity Endorsement on Twitter? 3 Legal Precautions to Know.

Jaia Thomas

Attorney and Entrepreneur

Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment attorney. She also assists business owners with intellectual property matters, such as copyright and trademark registrations.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

TikTok Reportedly Laid Off a 'Large Percentage' of Employees as the App's Fate in the U.S. Remains Unclear

Laid-off TikTok employees were notified Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

Business News

More People Are Exploring Entrepreneurship Because of This Unexpected Reason

More new business applications were filed in 2023 than in any other year so far.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


8 Subtle Hints that People Don't Respect You — and How to Fix Them

While you have to earn respect, you don't have to deal with disrespect in the meantime.

Business News

Four Seasons Orlando Responds to Viral TikTok: 'There's Something Here For All Ages'

The video has amassed over 45.4 million views on TikTok.