Last updated: 
25 February 2021

We’re experiencing delays in general examination of trade marks and TM Headstart assessments. We apologise for any inconvenience. For a status update, please refer to our trade marks response times.

There are three ways you can apply for a trade mark through online services. Each method meets slightly different needs and has slightly different fees:

  1. our pre-application service known as TM Headstart (provides an assessment of your application before you officially apply using online services) or
  2. our standard online application process using online services or
  3. our new and improved Trade Mark Assist tool allows you to explore your trade mark, and identify the goods and services you wish to protect.

Standard vs TM Headstart service comparison

 Standard applicationTM Headstart
 Total Cost
starts at $250
Total Cost
starts at $330
Pre-assessment by an examinerNoYes
Feedback within 5 days of requestNoYes
Speak directly with an examinerNoYes
Amend your application prior to filingNoYes
Receive an immediate filing dateYesNo
Formal report within 13 weeksYesYes

When you file a standard trade mark application it is made publicly available very shortly after you file your application. Once it is published only very minor changes can be made. When applying, you can choose to either use the picklist or not.

With the TM Headstart process, your request is not published until you pay the Part 2 fee. This means you have a wider range of options to overcome potential barriers to registration. You can amend your trade mark and/or add new classes to your request. However please note that when applying for a TM Headstart you must use the picklist.

Get ready to submit your application

Before you apply it’s a good idea to make sure you:

  • know the type of trade mark you’re applying for
  • understand the classes of goods and/or services your trade mark should be registered for. This is important because you can only make minor changes to a trade mark after it has been submitted. Plus, goods and/or services can't be extended once your application has been submitted
  • take note of the class number (heading) and the goods and services terms before you start the online application
  • consider if you want to take your IP global in the future. If so, you can use the Madrid Goods & Services Manager to check if your description of goods and services will be accepted by WIPO. You can then use the terms shown as acceptable in the Madrid Goods & Services Manager in your Australian application. Please note that if you apply through the Madrid System process, any terms accepted in other Madrid System countries must also be accepted in Australia and by WIP
  • have searched for existing same or similar trade marks.

All applications must include the following:

  • your name/ownership details and contact details. The address for service you provide will need to be in either Australia or New Zealand (with the exception of International Registrations Designating Australia (IRDAs)). This is usually your address or the address of the attorney or solicitor who is acting on your behalf.
  • a representation of the trade mark - see our image requirements for online services
  • a description of the goods and/or services to which it will apply
  • a list of the relevant classes - what you are offering as goods or services
  • the required fee.

Submit your application

Once you start your application you do not need to complete it in one session. As long as you save it you can leave and return to your form at any time.

If you have everything you need to file:

  • you must pay your filing application fee. If you are applying online, you will need to pay with a credit card. There are alternative ways to pay (such as by post, electronic funds transfer or in person), however a higher fee structure may apply in these circumstances
  • the application should take 10-15 minutes to finish if you have already prepared your information
  • the logon session will time out after one hour of inactivity to help protect your privacy
  • your browser must have JavaScript enabled
  • information provided in your application regarding contact addresses for both the owner and address for service of your trade mark will be made available on the internet, once your application has been published. A PO Box can be provided if you are not comfortable with your residential address being published online
  • if you don't have cookies enabled on your computer, the form may not work properly, make sure your computer's cache is set to refresh every page, every time you view it
  • file attachments are limited to a maximum of 40 Mb (or less for slow connections) to allow for upload and conversion of the image

Tools to get you started

Our new and improved Trade Mark Assist offering allows you to learn, search and seamlessly file as well as pay for your trade mark application. Use it to explore your proposed trade mark, identify the goods or services you wish to protect and search existing trade marks.

Trade Mark Assist is now being hosted on as a joint government initiative. We anticipate that this initiative may provide Australian Small Business a modernised and customer centric experience when interacting with government services.