Morgan Russell Solicitors

Companies Act 2006 - Objections to Company Names

Provisions of the Companies Act 2006 came into force on 1st October 2008, to enable any person (“the applicant”) to object to a company’s registered name on the grounds that:

  1. It is the same as a name associated with the applicant in which he has goodwill; or
  1. It is sufficiently similar to such a name that its use in the United Kingdom would be likely to mislead, by suggesting a connection between the company and the applicant.

Any objection must be made to a company names’ adjudicator.

The company concerned will be a respondent in the application.  Any of its members or directors may also be joined as respondents. 

If none of the following can be shown by the respondents, then the objection will be upheld: 

  1. the name was registered before the commencement of the activities on which the applicant relies to show goodwill;
  1. the company is operating under the name or is proposing to do so and has incurred substantial start-up costs in preparation;
  1. it was formerly operating under the name and is now dormant;
  1. the name was registered in the ordinary course of a company formation business and the company is available for sale to the applicant on the standard terms of that business;
  1. the name was adopted in good faith; or
  1. the interests of the applicant are not adversely affected to any significant extent.

However, please note that if the matters mentioned in points 1, 2 and 3 above are established, then the objection shall be upheld if the applicant shows that the main purpose of the respondent in registering the name was to obtain money (or other consideration) from the applicant or prevent him from registering the name.

If an objection is upheld, then the adjudicator shall make an order requiring the respondent company to change its name to one that does not raise an objection.  The adjudicator shall set a deadline for such a change.  If the name is not changed by the deadline, the adjudicator may determine a new name for the company.

The adjudicator must make his decision and his reasons for it available to the public.

The decision of the adjudicator is open to appeal.

Further information

If you require any further information or assistance, please contact Debbie Turner or Paul Morgan of Morgan Russell on 01372 461411.

The data contained within this document is for general information only. No responsibility can be accepted for inaccuracies. Readers are also advised that the law and practice may change from time to time. This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.
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