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Companies Act 2006

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Chapter 1Restricted or prohibited names

Introductory

1192Application of this Chapter

(1)This Chapter applies to any person carrying on business in the United Kingdom.

(2)The provisions of this Chapter do not prevent—

(a)an individual carrying on business under a name consisting of his surname without any addition other than a permitted addition, or

(b)individuals carrying on business in partnership under a name consisting of the surnames of all the partners without any addition other than a permitted addition.

(3)The following are the permitted additions—

(a)in the case of an individual, his forename or initial;

(b)in the case of a partnership—

(i)the forenames of individual partners or the initials of those forenames, or

(ii)where two or more individual partners have the same surname, the addition of “s” at the end of that surname;

(c)in either case, an addition merely indicating that the business is carried on in succession to a former owner of the business.

Sensitive words or expressions

1193Name suggesting connection with government or public authority

(1)A person must not, without the approval of the Secretary of State, carry on business in the United Kingdom under a name that would be likely to give the impression that the business is connected with—

(a)Her Majesty’s Government, any part of the Scottish administration or Her Majesty’s Government in Northern Ireland,

(b)any local authority, or

(c)any public authority specified for the purposes of this section by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2)For the purposes of this section—

  • “local authority” means—

    (a)

    a local authority within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70), the Common Council of the City of London or the Council of the Isles of Scilly,

    (b)

    a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39), or

    (c)

    a district council in Northern Ireland;

  • “public authority” includes any person or body having functions of a public nature.

(3)Regulations under this section are subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

(4)A person who contravenes this section commits an offence.

(5)Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate, an offence is also committed by every officer of the body who is in default.

(6)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale.

1194Other sensitive words or expressions

(1)A person must not, without the approval of the Secretary of State, carry on business in the United Kingdom under a name that includes a word or expression for the time being specified in regulations made by the Secretary of State under this section.

(2)Regulations under this section are subject to approval after being made.

(3)A person who contravenes this section commits an offence.

(4)Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate, an offence is also committed by every officer of the body who is in default.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale.

1195Requirement to seek comments of government department or other relevant body

(1)The Secretary of State may by regulations under—

(a)section 1193 (name suggesting connection with government or public authority), or

(b)section 1194 (other sensitive words or expressions),

require that, in connection with an application for the approval of the Secretary of State under that section, the applicant must seek the view of a specified Government department or other body.

(2)Where such a requirement applies, the applicant must request the specified department or other body (in writing) to indicate whether (and if so why) it has any objections to the proposed name.

(3)He must submit to the Secretary of State a statement that such a request has been made and a copy of any response received from the specified body.

(4)If these requirements are not complied with, the Secretary of State may refuse to consider the application for approval.

(5)In this section “specified” means specified in the regulations.

1196Withdrawal of Secretary of State’s approval

(1)This section applies to approval given for the purposes of—

  • section 1193 (name suggesting connection with government or public authority), or

  • section 1194 (other sensitive words or expressions).

(2)If it appears to the Secretary of State that there are overriding considerations of public policy that require such approval to be withdrawn, the approval may be withdrawn by notice in writing given to the person concerned.

(3)The notice must state the date as from which approval is withdrawn.

Misleading names

1197Name containing inappropriate indication of company type or legal form

(1)The Secretary of State may make provision by regulations prohibiting a person from carrying on business in the United Kingdom under a name consisting of or containing specified words, expressions or other indications—

(a)that are associated with a particular type of company or form of organisation, or

(b)that are similar to words, expressions or other indications associated with a particular type of company or form of organisation.

(2)The regulations may prohibit the use of words, expressions or other indications—

(a)in a specified part, or otherwise than in a specified part, of a name;

(b)in conjunction with, or otherwise than in conjunction with, such other words, expressions or indications as may be specified.

(3)In this section “specified” means specified in the regulations.

(4)Regulations under this section are subject to negative resolution procedure.

(5)A person who uses a name in contravention of regulations under this section commits an offence.

(6)Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate, an offence is also committed by every officer of the body who is in default.

(7)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale.

1198Name giving misleading indication of activities

(1)A person must not carry on business in the United Kingdom under a name that gives so misleading an indication of the nature of the activities of the business as to be likely to cause harm to the public.

(2)A person who uses a name in contravention of this section commits an offence.

(3)Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate, an offence is also committed by every officer of the body who is in default.

(4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale and, for continued contravention, a daily default fine not exceeding one-tenth of level 3 on the standard scale.

Supplementary

1199Savings for existing lawful business names

(1)This section has effect in relation to—

  • sections 1192 to 1196 (sensitive words or expressions), and

  • section 1197 (inappropriate indication of company type or legal form).

(2)Those sections do not apply to the carrying on of a business by a person who—

(a)carried on the business immediately before the date on which this Chapter came into force, and

(b)continues to carry it on under the name that immediately before that date was its lawful business name.

(3)Where—

(a)a business is transferred to a person on or after the date on which this Chapter came into force, and

(b)that person carries on the business under the name that was its lawful business name immediately before the transfer,

those sections do not apply in relation to the carrying on of the business under that name during the period of twelve months beginning with the date of the transfer.

(4)In this section “lawful business name”, in relation to a business, means a name under which the business was carried on without contravening—

(a)section 2(1) of the Business Names Act 1985 (c. 7) or Article 4(1) of the Business Names (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 (S.I. 1986/1033 N.I. 7)), or

(b)after this Chapter has come into force, the provisions of this Chapter.

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