The Company Names Tribunal
Produced in partnership with Penningtons Manches Cooper

The following IP practice note produced in partnership with Penningtons Manches Cooper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Company Names Tribunal
  • Establishment and function of the Company Names Tribunal
  • Legislative framework
  • Grounds of application to the Tribunal
  • Establishing goodwill
  • Defences available to the respondent
  • Qualification to defence
  • Tribunal’s powers
  • Procedure
  • Evidence
  • More...

The Company Names Tribunal

Establishment and function of the Company Names Tribunal

The Company Names Tribunal (the Tribunal) was established pursuant to the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006).

Under CA 2006, s 69 an applicant to the Tribunal may object to a company's registered name on the basis that it is the same or sufficiently similar to a name associated with the applicant in which it has goodwill.

This Tribunal process works alongside regulations that prevent a company selecting a name that is identical or too similar to a name already registered by another company. There are a number of other rules enforced by Companies House that restrict the choice of a company name. For further information, see Practice Note: Company names and business names.

Legislative framework

CA 2006, ss 69–74 establish a right for any person to object to a registered company or limited liability partnership (LLP) name. The Tribunal specifically deals with applications under CA 2006, s 69(1)(a) and (b).

The Company Names Adjudicator Rules 2008, SI 2008/1738 provide the basic procedural framework within which the Tribunal operates.

For detailed guidance, see Company Names Tribunal Practice Direction.

Grounds of application to the Tribunal

Under CA 2006, s 69(1)(a) and (b), a person (the applicant) may object to a company’s registered name on the ground:

  1. that it is the same as a name associated with the applicant in which he has

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