Placing a ™ beside your name is an assertion of ownership, a warning, a “hands-off.” In Common Law countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Australia, etc. anyone can assert these rights without filing any kind of registration, telling any government, or paying any fee. These rights are limited, as for all trademarks whether registered or not, to the types or classes of goods or services you are delivering under that name; they are also limited to the geography in which you are operating. You can put a ™ beside your name at any time to assert your rights.
If you have filed for a trademark with a government and it has been granted, you get the right to use the ® which stands for “Registered.”