How Much Does It Cost to Trademark a Name in California?

When it comes to protecting your business's intellectual property, trademarking your name is an essential step. In California, the process of trademarking a name involves several steps, including conducting a thorough search, choosing the appropriate trademark class, and filing an application. But have you ever wondered how much it costs to trademark a name in California.
In this article, we'll explore the costs associated with trademarking a name in California, from the official fees to the legal costs. We'll also provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to trademark a name in California, so you can protect your business's identity with confidence.

Official Fees

The official fee for trademarking a name in California is $70 per class of goods or services. This means that if you want to register a trademark for both goods and services, you'll need to pay $140. However, it's important to note that these fees are subject to change, so it's always best to check with the California Secretary of State's office for the most up-to-date information.

Legal Fees

While the official fees for trademarking a name in California are relatively low, the legal fees can add up quickly. On average, lawyers charge between $500 to $2,000 to conduct a business name search and file a trademark application. However, these fees can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the experience of the lawyer.

Conducting a Thorough Search

Before filing a trademark application, it's essential to conduct a thorough search to ensure that your proposed name doesn't infringe on existing trademarks. This search can be done using the California Secretary of State's database or through a private search firm. The cost of a thorough search can range from $300 to $1,000, depending on the scope of the search.

Choosing the Appropriate Trademark Class

California uses the USPTO's list of trademark classes, which groups all goods and services into 45 categories. Choosing the appropriate trademark class is crucial, as it determines the scope of your trademark protection. The cost of choosing the wrong class can be significant, as you may need to refile your application and pay additional fees.

Filing the Application

Once you've conducted a thorough search and chosen the appropriate trademark class, you can file your application. The application fee is $70 per class, and you'll need to provide documentation, such as a specimen of your mark and a declaration of use.

Responding to Office Actions

During the application process, you may receive an office action from the California Secretary of State's office. This is a request for additional information or clarification on your application. Responding to an office action can be time-consuming and may require additional legal fees.

Registration and Renewal

If your application is approved, you'll need to pay a registration fee, which is currently $100. Your trademark will be registered for five years, and you'll need to renew it every five years thereafter. The cost of renewal is $400 to $500 per class.


Trademarking a name in California can be a complex and costly process. However, the benefits of trademark protection far outweigh the costs. By conducting a thorough search, choosing the appropriate trademark class, and filing a comprehensive application, you can ensure that your business's identity is protected for years to come.
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