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An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It does not need to be of material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate, or present.


The word entity is derived from the Latin entitas, which in turn derives from the Latin ens meaning "being" or "existing" (compare English essence). Entity may hence literally be taken to mean "thing which exists".

Ontology is the study of concepts of existence, and of recognition of entities. The words ontic and entity are derived respectively from the ancient Greek and Latin present participles that mean "being".

In medicine, a disease entity is an illness due to a particular definite cause or to a specific pathological process. While a disease entity is not defined by a syndrome, it may or may not be manifest in one or more particular syndromes.

In computer science, an entity is an object that has an identity, which is independent of the changes of its attributes. It represents long-lived information relevant for the users and is usually stored in a database.

On April 4, 2022, the federal government stopped using the DUNS Number to uniquely identify entities. Now, entities doing business with the federal government use the Unique Entity ID created in They no longer have to go to a third-party website to obtain their identifier. This transition allows the government to streamline the entity identification and validation process, making it easier and less burdensome for entities to do business with the federal government.

If your entity is registered in today, your Unique Entity ID has already been assigned and is viewable in This includes inactive registrations. The Unique Entity ID is located on your entity registration record. Remember, you must be signed in to your account to view entity records. To learn how to view your Unique Entity ID go to this help article.

Refer to the Guide to Getting a Unique Entity ID if you want to get a Unique Entity ID for your organization without having to complete an entity registration. If you only conduct certain types of transactions, such as reporting as a sub-awardee, you may not need to complete an entity registration. Your entity may only need a Unique Entity ID.

The change we made creates predictability for the cost of entity validation services. By separating the government requirement for a Unique Entity ID from the government requirement to validate that the entities are unique, we introduced competitiveness into entity validation services. We then competed and awarded a new contract for entity validation services that is not connected to the identifier itself. We chose to have the new, non-proprietary identifier both requested in and generated by to reduce the burden of change; the transition in identifiers only needs to happen once, even if in the future a different entity validation service provider is selected.

All entities transacting business in Kentucky must file an annual report by June 30 of each year after the year they are formed. Failure to file the annual report by June 30 will result in the entity being listed in bad standing with this office and could lead to administrative dissolution or revocation of authority to do business in Kentucky.

Entities operating in the Commonwealth must also file documentation of certain changes. Every entity formed or doing business in Kentucky is required by law to maintain a principal office, which can be located in or outside the state. All correspondence from this office will be mailed to an entity's principal office. Each entity must also designate a registered agent and registered office in Kentucky upon whom a process (such as summons and subpoenas) may be served. Service on the registered agent is deemed to be service on the entity, regardless of whether the registered agent actually forwards the notice to the entity. Any time an entity changes its principal office, registered agent or registered office, it must file a statement of change with this office.

Most micro entity fees have decreased with the enactment of the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022, which was signed into law on December 29, 2022 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023. The law increased micro entity discounts from 75 percent to 80 percent.

You must establish micro entity status prior to paying, or at the time of paying, a fee in the micro entity amount. To establish micro entity status on the gross income basis, the applicant or patentee should file form SB/15A in the application or patent. To establish micro entity status on the institution of higher education basis, the applicant or patentee should file form SB/15B in the application or patent. These forms, along with all other USPTO patent-related forms can be found on our Patents Forms page.

After micro entity status has been established in an application or patent, it will remain in effect until it is changed. However, the applicant or patentee must re-evaluate whether or not the application or patent still qualifies for micro entity status each and every time a fee is paid to the USPTO in that application or patent. This is particularly important if the application or patent qualified under the gross income basis, because (1) the income limit changes every year (usually in September or October) and (2) the gross income of any applicant, inventor or other person with an ownership interest in the patent or application will likely change from year to year. For more information concerning the income limit, see section 2.3 Maximum qualifying gross income.

If the applicant or patentee determines that the application or patent still qualifies for micro entity status, then the fee may be paid in the micro entity amount. There is no need to re-file the micro entity certification form every time a payment is made.

If status as a micro entity is established in good faith in an application or patent, and fees as a micro entity are paid in good faith in the application or patent, and it is later discovered that such micro entity status either was established in error, or that the Office was not notified of a loss of entitlement to micro entity status through error, the error will be excused upon compliance with the separate submission and itemization requirements of 37 CFR 1.29(k)(1) and the deficiency payment requirement of 37 CFR 1.29(k)(2).

To qualify for micro entity status on the gross income basis under 37 CFR 1.29(a)-(c) in a particular patent application or patent, a micro entity certification must be completed with sufficient application identifying information (i.e., must identify the application to which it pertains) and authorized signature(s). For new application filings that have not been previously assigned a patent application number, the first named inventor and the title of the invention must be provided at the top of the certification form(s) in the spaces provided to sufficiently identify the application. See MPEP section 509.04(II) for more information.

Normally, the maximum number of U.S. patent applications in which fees can be paid by an applicant or inventor(s) at the micro entity discount rate on the gross income basis is five. This would be only the first five patent applications filed by an applicant, inventor, or joint inventor unless an exception applies to the five-application limit. See sections 2.2.1 and 2.2.2 for more information about which applications count, or do not count, toward the application filing limit.

Once a person has reached the filing limit, no future-filed application naming that person as an inventor or applicant can qualify for micro entity status under the gross income basis, even if the future-filed application is of a type that is not itself counted toward the limit. For example, assume inventor A has reached the filing limit by filing five design applications, and now wants to file a provisional application. Although provisional applications do not count toward the application filing limit, that fact does not matter here because inventor A already reached that limit by filing the design applications. Thus, inventor A cannot be entitled to micro entity status on the gross income basis in the provisional application.

For purposes of establishing micro entity status under the gross income basis, the application filing limit as set forth in 37 CFR 1.29(a)(2) includes: (i) previously filed U.S. nonprovisional applications (e.g., utility, design, plant, continuation, and divisional applications), (ii) previously filed U.S. reissue applications, (iii) previously filed U.S. national stage applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and (iv) previously filed international design applications under the Hague agreement that designate the U.S.

It does not matter how long ago the previous applications were filed or whether the previously filed applications are pending, patented, or abandoned; they are still included when counting to determine whether the application filing limit has been reached. It also does not matter whether the previous applications asserted entitlement to micro entity status; they are still included even if they did not claim any discounts (i.e., paid the undiscounted fee amounts).

All such applications naming the inventor or a joint inventor are counted toward the application filing limit. Any non-inventor applicant(s) who is a person rather than a corporation or other type of juristic entity, must also meet the application filing limit. Note however the section 1.29(b) exception based on prior employment.

The "maximum qualifying gross income" for purposes of paying any eligible fee at the micro entity discount rate under the gross income basis is currently $212,352. This amount changes based on a report by the Census Bureau that is typically released in September of each year. See section 2.3.3 for amount sent in prior periods. 041b061a72


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