07 May 2015 17:30 IST

Can my brand name be trademarked or not?

A trademark is an exclusive right given to your business to use a particular name

As soon as you have applied for the trademark, you can use the ™ symbol next to your name. And after the trademark registration is complete can you use the ® symbol. Both these symbols give your brand great protection and value in the market.

Have a brand? Get a trademark?

Trademarks are granted based on “classes”. A Class essentially relates to a type or category of products. For instance, clothing is a class, and perfumes are a class too. If you have the name “Avinash Textiles”, you will be given a Trademark in Class 24, which relates to clothing.

So while checking if your name is available or not, you need to check in that class. This can be done online. You need to visit the Government website and enter your brand name, and within a few minutes you get the result.

If you are confused about which class you belong to and want help, you as a Business Line reader can get your search for free on vakilsearch.com.

What are all the taxes that I need to pay for my business?

This is a question which confuses a lot of people, but is actually quite simple to answer.

The first question is whether you are in the business of selling products or services.

Products basically mean anything which you can touch, see and hold. So a car is a product, a phone is a product and toothpaste is a product. All people selling products need to get a Sales Tax registration.

Everyone hates taxes, but it’s not so bad.

On the other hand, any person offering a service online needs to get a Service Tax registration.

Apart from Sales Tax / Service Tax registration, you naturally need to pay your income tax on the income which you earn from your business.

And finally, if you run any trade or profession, you need to pay something called Profession Tax.

For each of these, you need to register upfront and then start making the payments as and when they are due.

What is this I hear about a One Person Company?

You heard correctly. Following the trend set by Singapore, India has legalized the concept of a One Person Company.

As the name suggests, a One Person Company has only 1 shareholder. It is meant to replace Proprietorships, which are even today the most dominant forms of starting a business in India.

A One Person Company however can have more than 1 Director – there can be multiple people involved in the management of the business of the One Person Company. As mentioned earlier, the number of shareholders must only be 1.

In a one person company, you’re king, but you can’t bring in your queen when you need to.

If the single shareholder dies or wishes to resign, there is a provision for a ‘nominee’. A nominee is appointed by the single shareholder and in case the single shareholder is not involved in running the company for any reason, the nominee will take over the running of the business.

The flipside of starting a company with only one shareholder is that you cannot get investment from a private equity investor. You also cannot give your employees shares as an incentive (since there can be only one shareholder).

*VakilSearch simplifies legal for start-ups by facilitating company registration , trademark filing , documentation and compliance.

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