Private Limited Company ( PLC ) v/s LLP

There are many business forms for entrepreneurs to choose from. Two of the most common business forms are Private Limited Company (PLC) and LLP. Let us understand each of these in detail and also take a look at the differences between the two.

What is LLP – Limited Liability Partnership?

A partnership comprising of two or more partners registered with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the LLP act, 2008 is known as the Limited Liability Partnership. It is a more preferable form of organization as it provides benefits of private limited and partnership firm. It is a legal entity separated from its partners and all the partners have limited liability up to the contribution made by them and no partner is responsible for the act of another partner.

What is Private Limited Company?

A minimum of two shareholders, who may be individuals or body corporates acting through their representatives, can start the Private Limited registration procedure. Further, the Directors can be same as the shareholders or subscribers to Memorandum of Association as well as Articles of Association (MOA and AOA). Additionally, it protects the members from unlimited liability at the time of loss or closure of company.

A private limited company has all the advantages of a partnership firm like flexibility, greater capital contribution as well as advantages of limited liability, greater stability and legal entity.


Features LLP PLC
Limit on owners of business There is no limit on maximum partners There is a restriction of not having more than 200 members
Minimum Contribution Requirement There is no minimum capital requirement  Minimum capital requirement of INR 1 Lakh
Cost of Formation Cost of incorporation is approximately INR 8,000 The cost of incorporation varies from INR 6,000 to INR 30,000 depending upon the number of directors, number of members, authorized share capital and member fee
Requirement of Audit Audit is only required if:
  • Contributions of LLP exceed INR 25 Lakhs or, 
  • Annual turnover of LLP exceeds INR 40 Lakhs
Statutory audit is compulsory 
Compliance Burden Only have to file the annual return and a statement of accounts and solvency Approx 8-10 compliances per annum are required to be made


Is it compulsory to file Form 3 for every LLP?

Yes it is compulsory for every LLP to file Form3 for LLP Agreement within 30 days of its incorporation.

Who can become a Director in a Private Limited Company?

Any person who is over 18 years of age can be a Director in any Private Limited Company. There are no limitations in terms of citizenship or residency. Therefore, foreign nationals can also be directors in a Private Limited Company incorporated in India.

Whether a partner or designated partner shall contribute in LLP?

While the addition of a partner in LLP, the Partner or Designated Partner may contribute the amount agreed by and between all the partners including present in any form whether tangible or intangible. However, it is not mandatory to bring capital to LLP.

Types of Companies in India

A Company is an association of persons, however, it is a separate legal entity from its owners. It is a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal. It can sue and be sued in its own name. There are different types of business entities in India. In this article, we will discuss the different types of companies in India.

Types of Companies in India under Companies Act 2013

The following chart shows the Company types in India on the basis of different criteria.

Companies based on the Size

  1. Public Company
    A Public company is a company in which members can freely trade the company’s shares on the stock exchange. In simple terms, it means a company that can raise funds from the public.
  2. Private Company
    A private company is a company in which there is a restriction on the transferability of shares and can raise money through private placement.
    This company has two types- small company and one person company.
    • Small Company
      A small company is a company that has a paid-up share capital of not more than 50 lakhs or such higher amount as may be prescribed but not more than 10 crores, and a turnover of not more than 2 crores or such higher amount as may be prescribed which shall not be more than 100 crores.
    • One Person Company (OPC)
      One Person Company is a company which has only one person as a member. The Companies Act 2013 had first introduced the concept of OPC. Only a resident can incorporate an OPC.

Types of Companies on the basis of Liability

  1. Limited by shares
    In this type of company, the liability of members is limited to the unpaid amount on shares which they hold in the company.
  2. Limited by Guarantee
    In such a type of company, the liability of members is limited to the extent of the guarantee amount that they agree to pay at the time of liquidation of the company.
  3. Unlimited Company
    In the case of an unlimited company, the liability of the members extends to the entire company’s debts. The personal assets of members are liable for the payment of a liability of the company.

Types of Companies on the basis of control

  1. Holding Company
    A company in relation to another company is a holding company if it:-
    • holds more than half of the total share capital of that another company, or
    • holds a position of control in that company.
  2. Subsidiary Company
    If in a company, another company directly or indirectly holds more than half of its capital or holds a position of control then we call the company a subsidiary of that holding company.
  3. Associate Company
    Associate company is the company in which another company holds more than 20% of the share capital of the company.

Types of Companies on the basis of Stock

  1. Listed company
    In the case of a listed company, the company lists its shares on the stock exchange in India or outside India.
  2. Unlisted company
    The shares of the unlisted company do not list themselves on any stock exchange, hence we call it an unlisted company.

Other Companies

  • Government Company
    A government company is a company in which the Central Government, State government, or both holds not less than 51% of the paid up share capital.
  • Foreign Company
    A foreign company is a company which is incorporated outside India but has a place of business in India.
  • Section 8 Company
    A Section 8 Company is a Non-Profit Organization under Section 8 of Companies Act 2013. It has the promotion of Arts, Science, Commerce, Sports, Education, Social Welfare, the Protection of the environment, or any other charitable activity as its main objects.
  • Nidhi Company
    A Nidhi company is a type of Non-Banking Financial Corporation. It is basically formed to borrow and lend money among its members.
  • Dormant Company
    When a company is not active or inoperative, we call it a Dormant Company.
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I am a member in OPC. Can I incorporate another OPC and become member of it?

A person can be a member in one OPC only. If you are already a member in one OPC, you cannot become member in another OPC.

How can a dormant company get the status of active company?

A dormant company who wishes to get the status of active company has to file the application under Form MSC-4 to ROC. If satisfied with the application, ROC will issue a certificate under Form MSC-5 to the dormant company to get the status of active company.

What are the documents that one requires to register a Company India?

A person who wishes to incorporate a Company in India needs the following documents:-
1. Utility bills for Office address (not older than 2 months)
2. Stamped and Notarized Rent Agreement/ Lease Deed
3. No Objection Certificate from the owner of the place of Registered Office
4. PAN of all the directors
5. Identity Proof of Subscribers
6. Address proof of Subscribers (not older than 2 months)
7. Consent to act as Director (DIR-2)
8. Declaration by Subscriber/ Director (INC-9)

How to file Trademark Application?

Trademarks are unique signs that make your brand a distinct entity.  These marks on goods and services help distinguish it from those of others. Creating an account for trademark e-filing is the first step to register your Trademark. Once you receive your credentials on email, you can file your trademark application in website.

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Steps to file your Trademark Application under Form TM-A

You can refer to the following steps in order to file your trademark application:

  1. Login with Password

    Enter your user ID and password you received on your email ID and then select ‘Login.’ 

  2. New form Filing

    You can select your desired form under ‘New Form Filing’. Then select Form TM-A from the list of options amongst other form incase of new application of Trademark Registration.

  3. Type of Applicant

    Select the type of applicant if Individual/Sole proprietor or Start up or Small enterprise or Others accordingly. 

  4. Type of Applicantion

    Under Type of Application based on your requirement select if you are applying for trademark application, collective mark, series mark etc. Subsequently, fill in the trademark class of your mark and then enter ‘Submit.’

  5. TM-A

    Your Form TM-A will be appear as below. There are 10 subcategories in Form TM-A. Under Trademark category, fill in the desired mark you wish to register and then select ‘Edit’ under Applicant’s Details. 

  6. Applicant details

    In the Applicant’s Details page, fill in your ‘State,’ ‘District’ and then ‘Legal Status.’ Legal status here means whether you are a natural person, Company, legal entity etc.   

  7. TM-A

    Now fill in the other 6 subcategories:
    If mark in a language other than Hindi or English– Firstly, If your mark is in a language other than Hindi or English, you will have to translate the same.
    Conditions or Limitations– If you wish to write any conditions or Limitations on using your mark, you can type it out under this category.
    Class of Goods and services– Fill in the description of your trademark under this category.
    Statement as to use of mark– Enter the date on which you started to use the mark for your goods and services in DD/MM/YYYY format.
    Any other information or statement– State here the reason why you want to have your trademark registered to help the trademark officer understand your application better.
    Verification– Then, verify all the entered details before you proceed.
    Then select ‘Attach Documents documents.’

  8. Attach Documents

    Upload your user affidavit and then select ‘Done.’

  9. Preview

    Select Preview to check if all details you have entered are correct and subsequently select ‘Digitally Sign and Submit.’

  10. Digitally sign

    Upload you digital Signature certificate by selecting ‘Select to sign.’

  11. Payments

    Select payments option from the options bar on the left and navigate to ‘Make Payment.’ All the successfully filled forms will appear here. Tick the application you want to submit and subsequently select ‘Make Payment.’

  12. Payment consent form

    After reading the terms and conditions, tick the Agree box. Select ‘Make Payment’ and most importantly, have all your bank details ready. You will be redirected to a payment portal where you can make the payment.

  13. Filing History

    Navigate to Form History in your options bar and then select ‘Filing History.’ You can see here that you application has been successfully submitted. Check you ‘Application status’ in a few days.

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What is the validity of Trademark registration?

The registered trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of filing of application. The trademark can be renewed further.

When can I start using the TM symbol?

You can start using the number as soon as your application allotment number appears in your filing history.

Should I conduct a trademark search before filing for an application?

Yes, it is advisable to conduct a trademark search before filing an application for registration. Before making an application for registration it is reasonable to review trademarks that are already registered, just to make sure that the proposed trademark is not denied due to similarity with other trademarks. It will save you both time and also your money.

Trademark Renewal

Trademark Renewal is the renewal of registered trademarks whose validity of 10 years in the verge of expiration. In case the proprietor fails to renew the trademark, then he shall lose all the protection that comes along with registration. The Registrar gives a window of six months before the end of ten years to the holder of the trademark to renew their trademark and continue enjoying the rights awarded.

If the registrar does not receive any application for renewal, then registrar sends the holder of trademark a notice, 1 – 3 months before the expiration of the registration informing him of the upcoming renewal date.

Filing a renewal application for trademark, renews it only for another 10 years.

Benefits of Trademark Renewal

  • Exercise Legal rights
    • You can exercise your legal rights if your registered trademark has been infringed. Renewal of trademarks makes it impossible for someone to claim rights over it other than the trademark owner.
  • Asset Protection
    • Renewal of trademark promises continuous and unhindered protection of the brand name. Trademark is an intangibile asset, therefore protecting it is necessary.
  • Monetary Returns
    • A trademark owner has the exclusive rights to assign or license the mark to someone else in return of monetary compensation. It also adds value to your brand.

Documents required for trademark renewal application

  • Proof of Applicant- PAN Card and Address Proof of Applicant or Certificate of registration (other than Individual applicant)
  • TM Certificate- Trademark registration certificate issued by Registry
  • Copy of TM-A- Form used for the original application for registering the trademark

Types of Renewal

  • Alteration and change of sign or logo of the registered trademark.
  • Application made without any change of trademark.

Steps for of Renewal of Trademark

  1. Filing Application

    For application of Trademark renewal, the trademark holder must fill in form of TM-R along with the prescribed fee. Either the owner of trademark or an agent authorised by him can file for trademark renewal.

  2. Check Status of Application

    The applicant must check his application status for any opposition filed. Any person of the public can file such opposition.

  3. Journal Publication

    Subsequent to the acceptance of your trademark renewal application by the registrar, the proposed mark will be published in the trademark journal.

  4. Trademark Renewal

    The trademark is protected for another 10 years once the mark is published in the Journal.

The price for the renewal of a trademark depends upon whether it has been one in-person physically or it has been done online.

  • If done physically the filing for the renewal costs 10,000 rupee
  • If done online via e-filing it costs 9,000 rupees

You can find the whole pricing scheme for all the forms at the website.

Restoration of Trademark

There can be times that a person forgets to renew their trademark in the given time period. In the case of failure to renew, an application for restoration is required to be filed within one (1) year from the date of expiration of the renewal date if more than six (6) months have lapsed from the renewal date and no renewal request has been filed. The application is accompanied with a statement explaining the delay in renewal and also an additional fee over the renewal fee.

After receiving applications to either renew or restore the trademark, the Registrar shall advertise the mark once again and invite objections from people who have reason to believe that the trademark should not be renewed or restored. If there are no objections, then the mark will be entered in the register of trademarks.


What are the consequences of not renewing your trademark?

Your trademark will be removed from the register. Before removing the trademark, the Registrar shall first advertise his intention to remove the mark by advertising the notice to remove in the trademark journal.

How many times can you renew your trademark?

You can renew your trademark every 10 years. There is no restriction in the number of times.

Does Trademark renewal create any changes in the rights of the trademark holder?

Trademark renewal does not create any changes in the rights of the trademark holder. As long as the trademark is valid, the trademark holder would enjoy all the rights that he/she acquired during the primary registration and also the legal protection.

How to create an account for Trademark e-filing?

Creating an account for trademark e-filing is the first step to register your Trademark. You can do this website. Registering your trademark distinguishes a product or service of your company from that of other companies while also allowing you to exercise your legal rights incase of an infringement.

Steps to create an account for Trademark e-filing

You can refer to the following steps in order to create a new account:

  1. Sign up

    Navigate to new user|sign up if you do not have a Login-ID and Password.

  2. Procure a Digital Signature Certificate

    Procure a Class- III or II DSC and then select proceed for registration.

  3. Enter Applicant Type and Code

    Under ‘Type of Applicant’, there are three options namely ‘Proprietor,’ ‘Attorney’ and ‘Agent.’ Choose “Proprietor” if you are not a Lawyer or an Agent. Following which Select ‘Search’ if you do not know your code.

  4. Enter Proprietor Name

    Fill in the Proprietor’s name and select ‘submit’ in order to search the records for any previous code.

  5. Create new party code if applicable

    If you are already registered with the department, your code will appear along with your name and address. If not, you can manually add new party code by selecting ‘Add new.’

  6. Proprietor Code Registration Form

    This form has two broad categories. You must select the proprietor category which ranges from Single, proprietorship firm, Private limited company, start up etc. Tick the most suitable category. Fill basic proprietor details such as name, address, email ID and phone number. Select ‘submit.’

  7. Proprietor Code Generated

    Your proprietor code will be shown on your screen. Take a screenshot of the same or write down the proprietor code for future references.

  8. New user Registration Firm

    The new user registration Form has three broad categories. Firstly, you must upload your Digital Signature Certificate. In the second category of user details, you must fill in the desired User ID and Password as per your preference and check availability. Your email ID and mobile number is required in the third category. Select ‘Register.’

  9. Receive Credentials via email

    Once you have successfully registered, you will receive a mail with your user ID and password.

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What is DSC?

DSC is an electronic form of signature. It helps to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of the document. DSC is stored in a USB drive. It contains information such as user name, PIN code, E-mail address and also date of issuance of the certificate

Where can I get Digital Signature Certificate?

Valid DSC is issued only through a controller of certifying authorities (CCA), Govt. of India, licensed certifying authorities (CA), such as eMudhra.

Can anyone other than a proprietor e-file?

Yes, An attorney or an agent can also e-file your trademark application for the proprietor. It is not necessary for only a proprietor to file his trademark.

Assignment of Trademark

Assignment of trademark is when there is a transfer of the owner’s right, title and interest of the trademark. Such transfers can take place in the form of an assignment or merger or also an amalgamation between two entities.

Trademark Assignment is the process of transferring ownership of the trademark either with or without the goodwill of the business. One can assign a trademark through a trademark assignment agreement. The original owner of the trademark is “the assignor” and the future owner is “the Assignee.”

Benefits of Trademark Assignment

  • Trademark’s value– Creating a brand name for a company involves money, time and capital. An assignor is able to encash the brand value. The Assignee is also able to unlock benefits of the brand name in the Industry.
  • Exercise Legal Rights– The trademark assignment agreement secures the legal right of the assignee incase of a dispute. The Registry ensures the validity of all the clauses mentioned in the agreement before publishing the assignment in the Trade Marks Journal.
  • Existing brand name– The assignee has the advantage of dealing in an already existing and established a brand name.
  • Business Expansion– The Brand value will propel with the combined efforts of assignor and assignee to contribute in brand building.

Types of Trademark Assignment or Transfer

  • Complete Assignment to another entity
    • The owner transfers all its rights with respect to a mark to another entity, including the transfer of the rights such as right to further transfer, to earn royalties, etc.
  • Partial Assignment to another entity
    • The owner transfers trademark restricted to specific products or services only.
  • Assignment with goodwill
    • Such assignment is when the rights and value of a trademark as associated with the product is also transferred to another entity.
  • Assignment without goodwill
    • Such assignment also referred to as gross assignment, is where the owner of the brand restricts the right of the buyer and does not allow him to use the brand for the products being used by the original owner. Thus, the goodwill attached to such brand with respect to the product already being sold under such brand, is not transferred to the buyer.

Documents Required

  • TM Certificate: Certificate of Trademark Registration (if any)
  • Details of the Party: Name and description of the assignor and assignee
  • NOC: No Objection Certificate from the original owner of the registered trademark

Process for Assignment of Trademark

  • The assignor or assignee or both can make a joint request to register assignee as a subsequent proprietor by an application of a trademark assignment. The application is made under Form TM-P.
  • Assignee must apply with the registrar of a trademark within six months from the date of procurement of the proprietorship. Some applications can filed after six months of procurement but the fee payable will vary. You can also find the amounts payable for the corresponding forms here.
  • The Registrar will specify the advertisement of the trademark assignment. After which the applicant has to make the advertisement accordingly. A copy of the direction of the registrar and advertisement of the assignment must be submitted to the office to make sure that the directions have been followed.
  • On the receipt of the trademark assignment application and documents required, the registrar after perceiving satisfied shall register the assignee as the proprietor of the trademark. The registrar records the specifications of the assignment in the register.


Can I assign an unregistered Trademark in India?

Yes, you can assign an unregistered trademark by filing an application.

How long the Registry will take to go through the formalities of trademark assignment in India?

The Trademark Registry in India normally takes up to 6 to 8 months to update the data of the transfer.

What is the Government Fee prescribed for Assignment of Trademark?

A registry has prescribed Rs 9,000/- as a fee payable for application of transfer Trademark ownership i.e. Trademark Assignment in India.

Trademark Class

What is a Trademark class?

Trademark Class is when Goods and services are categorised into different classes while filing Trademark application.

India follows the classification popularly known as the Nice Classification. There are 45 classes in the Nice classification out of which, classes 1 to 34 categorizes goods or products and classes 35 to 45 categorizes services. While filing a trademark application, the class of goods and services to which the trademark belongs to must be mentioned in the application. It is important to choose the right class of trademark while filing the application as wrong classification of trademark could hamper the trademark registration process and/or diminish the legal protection for the mark under the Trademark Act.

Importance of Trademark classification

  • Filing the application in a wrong class would result in the trademark owner losing their rights to enforce their trademark rights in the event of an infringement.
  • Additionally, If a registered trademark exists under one class, another entity can file a trademark application for the same mark under a different class. Hence, filing of trademark application under one class does not provide complete exclusivity over use of the mark. Trademark only provides exclusivity for use of the mark with respect to the class of goods or services for which the trademark is registered.
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Trademark Class List

The list of classes for registration of trademark is given below.


  • Class 1: Chemicals for use in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; fire extinguishing and fire prevention compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; substances for tanning animal skins and hides; adhesives for use in industry; putties and also other paste fillers; compost, manures, fertilizers; biological preparations for use in industry and science.
  • Class 2: Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants, dyes; inks for printing, marking and engraving; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and also art.
  • Class 3: Non-medicated cosmetics and toiletry preparations; non-medicated dentifrices; perfumery, essential oils; bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and also abrasive preparations.
  • Class 4: Industrial oils and greases, wax; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels and illuminants; candles, as well as wicks for lighting.
  • Class 5: Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and also substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for human beings and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
  • Class 6: Common metals and their alloys, ores; metal materials for building and construction; transportable buildings of metal; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; small items of metal hardware; metal containers for storage or transport; and also safes.
  • Class 7: Machines, machine tools, power-operated tools; motors and engines, except for land vehicles; machine coupling and transmission components, except for land vehicles; agricultural implements, other than hand-operated hand tools; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.
  • Class 8: Hand tools and implements, hand-operated; cutlery; side arms, except firearms; and also razors.
  • Class 9: Scientific, research, navigation, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, audiovisual, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, detecting, testing, inspecting, life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling the distribution or use of electricity; apparatus and instruments for recording, transmitting, reproducing or processing sound, images or data; recorded and also downloadable media, computer software, blank digital or analogue recording and storage media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating devices; computers and computer peripheral devices; diving suits, divers’ masks, ear plugs for divers, nose clips for divers and swimmers, gloves for divers, as well as breathing apparatus for underwater swimming; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
  • Class 10: Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments; artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopaedic articles; suture materials; therapeutic and assistive devices adapted for persons with disabilities; massage apparatus; apparatus, devices and articles also for nursing infants; sexual activity apparatus, devices and also articles.
  • Class 11: Apparatus and installations for lighting, heating, cooling, steam generating, cooking, drying, ventilating, water supply as well as sanitary purposes.
  • Class 12: Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.
  • Class 13: Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.
  • Class 14: Precious metals and their alloys; jewellery, precious and also semi-precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.
  • Class 15: Musical instruments; music stands and stands for musical instruments; and also conductors’ batons.
  • Class 16: Paper and cardboard; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery and office requisites, but except furniture; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; drawing materials and materials for artists; paintbrushes; instructional and teaching materials; plastic sheets, films and bags for wrapping and packaging; printers’ type, and also printing blocks.
  • Class 17: Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials; plastics and resins in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, tubes and hoses, but not of metal.
  • Class 18: Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins and hides; luggage and carrying bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery; collars, leashes and also clothing for animals.
  • Class 19: Materials, not of metal, for building and construction; rigid pipes, not of metal, for building; asphalt, pitch, tar and bitumen; transportable buildings, not of metal; monuments, but not of metal.
  • Class 20: Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; containers, but not of metal, for storage or transport; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.
  • Class 21: Household or kitchen utensils and containers; cookware and tableware, but except forks, knives and spoons; combs and sponges; brushes, except paintbrushes; brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; unworked or semi-worked glass, except building glass; glassware, porcelain and also earthenware.
  • Class 22: Ropes and string; nets; tents and tarpaulins; awnings of textile or synthetic materials; sails; sacks for the transport and storage of materials in bulk; padding, cushioning and stuffing materials, except of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics; raw fibrous textile materials and also substitutes therefor.
  • Class 23: Yarns as well as threads for textile use.
  • Class 24: Textiles and substitutes for textiles; household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
  • Class 25: Clothing, footwear, headwear.
  • Class 26: Lace, braid and embroidery, and haberdashery ribbons and bows; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers; hair decorations; and also false hair.
  • Class 27: Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings, but not of textile.
  • Class 28: Games, toys and playthings; video game apparatus; gymnastic and sporting articles; also decorations for Christmas trees.
  • Class 29: Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and other milk products; oils and also fats for food.
  • Class 30: Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee; rice, pasta and noodles; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastries and confectionery; chocolate; ice cream, sorbets and other edible ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt, seasonings, spices, preserved herbs; vinegar, sauces and other condiments, as well as ice (frozen water).
  • Class 31: Raw and unprocessed agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs; natural plants and flowers; bulbs, seedlings and seeds for planting; live animals; foodstuffs and also beverages for animals; malt.
  • Class 32: Beers; non-alcoholic beverages; mineral and aerated waters; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and also other non-alcoholic preparations for making beverages.
  • Class 33: Alcoholic beverages, except beers; and also alcoholic preparations for making beverages.
  • Class 34: Tobacco and tobacco substitutes; cigarettes and cigars; electronic cigarettes and oral vaporizers for smokers; smokers’ articles; and also matches.


  • Class 35: Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.
  • Class 36: Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs.
  • Class 37: Construction services; installation and repair services; mining extraction, as well as oil and gas drilling.
  • Class 38: Telecommunications services.
  • Class 39: Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.
  • Class 40: Treatment of materials; recycling of waste and trash; air purification and treatment of water; printing services; food and drink preservation.
  • Class 41: Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and also cultural activities.
  • Class 42: Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis, industrial research and industrial design services; quality control and authentication services; design and also development of computer hardware and software.
  • Class 43: Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.
  • Class 44: Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and also forestry services.
  • Class 45: Legal services; security services for the physical protection of tangible property and individuals; as well as personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.
Trademark Application for Companies
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Can a multi-class application be filed in India?

Yes, one can apply for registration under multiple classes in one single application. If the activity of the business involves diverse goods or services falling under different trademark classifications, Trademark application can be filed in more than one class.

What is the Government fee for a Single Class TM Application vs. Multi Class Applications?

For Registry, the fees are levied based on ‘Number of Classes Applied’ and not ‘Number of Applications’. Individual or Start-ups, for each class the government fees of Rs. 4,500 is to be paid. For all other cases, the Government fee of Rs. 9000 is to be paid. For example, if an individual applies for a trademark application under 3 classes, the Government fee will be Rs. 13,500.

What if my trademark is taken, but under a different class?

If your brand name has already been registered, but under a different class, you’re still in luck. If the party does not cease and desist from selling the goods with your trademark after a notice informing them of the infringement, you may take them to court.

Trademark Registration Process

Trademarks are unique signs that make your brand a distinct entity.  These marks on goods and services help distinguish it from those of others. Refer to the steps below to complete the process of your trademark registration.

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10 Steps to complete your Trademark Registration

  1. Choosing a trademark

    Trademark registration process begins with you choosing a unique and distinctive mark that will represent your company while also being easily identifiable for the growth of your business.

  2. Trademark Search

    It is advisable for you to search the trademark records registry and ensure that the intended trademark does not resemble or identical to any other already registered mark.
    You can search the online website of the Controller general of patents, designs and trademarks.

  3. Class Selection

    While registering your trademark, you need to apply it under the right classification of classes. The trademark offers you the right to sell under a particular brand name within a certain sector in the economy.
    Goods and services are classified under a class/sector. In total, there are about 45 classes. Classes 1-34 are for goods and classes 35-45 are for service.

  4. Filing Application

    There are two options you can take while filing for a trademark-
    File for a trademark under “one” class. In this case, you have to fill in form TM-1. The Government fee payable per class for TM-1 is Rs. 3500.
    The other option is to file for multiple classes or series trademark, or collective trademark. For this, you have to fill in form TM-A. The Government fee payable per class for Individuals/Start-ups is of Rs. 4500 and for all other cases Rs. 9000 under TM-A e-filing. You can find all the amounts payable for the corresponding forms here.

  5. Trademark Application Allotment Number

    Subsequent to filing application with the trademark registrar, a trademark application allotment number is provided within one or two working days. The online trademark search facility helps you track the application. On obtaining the allotment number, you can affix the TM symbol next to the logo.

  6. Vienna Codification

    The Vienna codification established by the Vienna agreement (1973) is an international classification of the figurative elements of marks. Additionally, the trademark registrar will apply the Vienna classification to the trademark based on the figurative elements of marks to the trademark application filed by you. While this work is in progress, the trademark application status usually reflects as “sent for Vienna codification”.

  7. Trademark Examination

    The trademark registration application will be allotted to an officer in the trademark registrar office when the Vienna codification is complete. The trademark officer would then review the trademark application for correctness and issue a trademark examination report. The officer will either accept the application and allow for journal publication or object the same.

  8. Objection (A)

    You have the right to appear before the officer and address any objections raised by the trademark officer from your Trademark application. If the officer is satisfied with your justifications, the trademark would be allowed for trademark journal publication. If the officer is not satisfied with the justifications, you have the right to appeal the decision of the Trademark officer before the Intellectual Property Appellate Board.

  9. Journal Publication (B)

    Subsequent to the acceptance of your trademark registration application by the registrar, the proposed mark will be published in the trademark journal. All the trademarks that have been accepted by the registrar are published in the trademark Journal weekly. The public also have an opportunity to object to a particular registration, if they believe their business will be damaged by that registration. The mark will be registered, within 12 weeks’ time if there are no objections filed within 90 days of that publication.

    The trademark hearing officer will then call for a hearing if a third-party opposes your trademark registration application. Both you and the opposing party have the chance to appear at the hearing and provide justifications for registration or rejection of the trademark application. Following which the hearing officer will accept or reject the application based on the hearings and the evidence presented. The hearing officer’s decision can be challenged in the Intellectual Property Appellate Board if not satisfied.

  10. Trademark Registration

    If there are no objections or oppositions to the application, the trademark manuscript and trademark registration certificate will be prepared and issued. This gives you an exclusive right to use the mark once you receive the certificate. As a result, you can place the symbol R next to the logo.

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Documents Required for Filing Trademark Application

  • Trademark or logo copy
  • Applicant details like name, address and nationality and for company: the state of incorporation
  • Proof of Applicant- PAN card & also Address proof, Certificate of Registration
  • Date of first use of the trademark in India, if used by you prior to applying and also proof of use
  • Power of attorney to be signed by the applicant


How long will it take to obtain a trademark registration?

You can file the Trademark application with the trademark registry in a matter of 1 – 3 days. However, it will typically take 6 to 24 months for the registry to complete their formalities and provide registration for the trademark.

Why does the trademark application gets refused?

The application is refused when the trademark examiner sends a hearing notice to the applicant and within 30 days of receipt. In such a case, a new application needs to be filed.

What is the meaning if the status abandoned?

If the trademark examiner raises an objection to the application and if there is no response to the objection notice within 30 days of receipt, then the application is automatically refused. In such a case, a new application needs to be filed.

If I register my Brand Name & Logo, would they consider it as 2 applications or 1 application?

When both Logo & Brand name are submitted together in one image, the ministry accepts it as 1 application. Hence, the charge for a single application would apply. In case the applicant wants to change the logo or the brand name of one in the future and retain the other, he can separately file them.

Trademark Overview – Benefits, Validity, Eligibility and Symbols

What is Trademark?

Trademark is an unique sign that makes your brand a distinct entity.  These signs can be a name, logo, symbol, device, label, numeral, heading, label, ticket, signature, graphics, photographs, shape and packaging of goods, monograms, 3 dimensional shapes, colour combinations or any other mark on goods and services that distinguish it from those of others.

They are classified as Intellectually property, hence protected by the law. The Trademarks act, 1999 along with the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 govern any dispute arising out of Trademarks infringement. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry administer protection of trademarks.

You must be able to represent your mark graphically in paper form. Most importantly, It should be capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one undertaking from those of others.

Why register your trademarks?

  • Exclusive ownership
    • In order to have exclusive ownership rights of your unique mark on products and services and restrict third-parties from usage and benefits.
  • Exercise legal rights
    • The Trademarks act 1999 along with the Trade Marks Rules, 2017 protect you from any infringement.
  • Prevent third party misuse
  • Brand Value & Goodwill
    • In addition, Trademarks increase brand value, reliability, quality and goodwill of the company.
  • Intangible Assets
    • Trademarks act as intangible assets which can be contracted, franchised, distributed and can also be sold.

Who can apply for trademarks?

An Individual, Partnership Firm, Body-incorporate including Private Limited/limited Company, Limited Liability Partnership, Society, Trust, Government Department, Statutory Organisation, Association of persons, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and/or any person claiming to be the proprietor of a trademark used or proposed to be used by him can apply for a trademark.

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Validity of Trademarks

Trademarks do not have a definite limitation period, however a trademark registration expires after 10 years. It is renewable at the end of 10 years for another 10 years. Additionally, There is no limitation to the trademark renewal process and can be done indefinitely.

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Expert Assisted Trademark Application for companies to reserve logo / name.
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Expert Assisted Trademark Application for companies to reserve logo / name.
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Trademark symbols

  • R Symbol
    • Using the ® symbol indicates that your trademark has been registered.
  • Symbol
    • Trademarks who have successfully applied with the trademark registry but is unregistered use the TM symbol. Using the TM symbol indicates the fact that a trademark application exists with respect to the trademark. It also serves as a warning for infringers and counter-fitters.
  • SM Symbol
    • The service industry, specifically for service mark applications use ‘SM’ or Service Mark symbol. Applications filed under class 35-45 use the SM symbol. Using the TM symbol for all classes or using a SM mark for application under class 35-45 are both acceptable.


What trademarks cannot be registered?

Any mark that is identical or deceptively similar to an existing registered trademark or a trademark for which the application for registration is already in process cannot be registered. Also, a mark that would likely cause a deception or confusion, or that appears offensive may not be registered. Geographical names, common names, common trade words and common abbreviation are also not registrable.

Will the trademark be valid outside India?

The registration application filed under the Trademark Act, 1999 is verified and registered in India and it remains valid only in India.

can a foreign person/foreign entity apply for trademark registration in India?

Yes, a foreign person or a foreign entity can also apply for trademark registration in India.

IEC – Import Export Code Overview

What is IEC?

Importer Exporter Code (also known as IEC, Import Export Code, IE License, IE code, etc.) is a 10 digit identification number. The regional office of the DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade) issues the code to Indian companies and business organizations. It is mandatory for every importer and Exporter carrying out business in India.

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Benefits of an Import Export License

  • Avail Government Benefits
    • DGFT, EPC, Customs, and other such government bodies offer benefits and schemes which can be availed only with an IEC.
  • Minimal Compliance
    • Unlike other licenses, you only require basic documents while registering. You do not have to renew the IEC as it has lifetime validity. There is no requirement of filing returns with DGFT.
  • Global markets
    • IEC assists traders to grow their business and not constrain to Indian markets.
  • Efficient processing
    • DGFT issues an IEC with 5-15 days of submitting an application.
  • No eligibility constraints
    • Any property owner can apply in their name (not necessary to have an established business) or under the company’s name. The code is valid for all the company’s branches, factories, and units.

When is the IEC Registration required?

  • Customs authorities
    • Customs authorities request an IEC code to clear the shipments of Exporters and Importers.
  • Banks and Financial Institutions
    • Banks require it to transfer and receive money in Importers and Exporters bank accounts.

When is IEC not required?

  • When registered under GST
    • Traders registered under the GST do not require an IEC. They may use the PAN of an entity instead.
  • Personal Purposes
    • Any import or export of goods for personal purposes and not for commercial purposes need not obtain an IEC
  • Govt departments and charitable institutions
    • It is not mandatory for export or import that the government of India Departments and Ministries and Notified Charitable Institutions to carry out.


Is there any tax levied based on IE Code?

IE Code is not a tax registration. However, certain customs duties may be levied depending on the product imported or exported.

What is the penalty levied for not registering for IE code?

As trade is not possible without a valid IEC, the penalty levied may be the pay duty depending upon the quantum of the goods.

How to cancel Importer Exporter Code?

You can cancel the IE code by initiating a formal request to the DGFT online. On receipt of such intimation, the authorities will cancel it electronically.

Can any changes be made in Importer Exporter Code?

Yes. In order to make changes, you need to raise a request with the DGFT and produce the relevant documents to make the modifications. Government charges may be applicable.