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  • Writer's pictureJaiFin Team

Charging for your brand use - ROYALTIES

According to Chapter VI of the OECD’s 2017 revised transfer pricing guidelines, if the legal owner of intangibles or intellectual property has an expectation to retain all profits derived from the exploitation of the intangible, the legal owner must:

  • perform all functions;

  • contribute all assets; and assume all risks related to the:

  • development;

  • enhancement;

  • maintenance;

  • protection; and

  • exploitation of the IP.

If the legal owner of the intangible is economically responsible for all functions, assets and risks with respect to the five above mentioned areas of the intangible lifecycle, the OECD Guidelines indicate the legal owner of the intangible is likely to have the right to expect full rights to any profits derived from the use of that intangible.

What does this mean practically for your business when you work with partners and want to charge for use of your brand?

For a digital business at a minimum your need to build your brand assets:

  • Own and pay for your website and email domain provided for use to your partners;

  • Provide digital and marketing content on relevant languages;

  • Provide a style guide for use of your brand (Logos, Fonts and Text); and

  • Update your marketing assets regularly and promote your partners activity under your brand

Do I need a trademark registered or can I rely on copyright? This question comes up a lot but for tax purposes its only relevant to the "protection" of the brand and Trademark is not the only way to protect a brand it is very expensive and even more expensive to actively enforce. Here are some other ways you can protect your brand:

  • Mark your logo and name with "tm" in the upper right corner of your logo. The symbol in TM is used to provide notice of a claim of common-law rights in a trademark. This doesn't require registration and if you are confident you are the first in the market in the jurisdiction provides some protection.

  • Mark the content you produce as copyrighted when you publish it, this is a simple form of All rights reserved (c) Date Name. i.e. All rights reserved (c) 2019 My Company

In summary if you own and pay for the development of your brand materials and you appropriately protect those brand materials you can charge others for the use of your brand.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Jai Financial Pte Ltd

Any advice on developing your brand and charging for it, get in touch.

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