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Consumer Protection Act, 2008 (Act No. 68 of 2008)

Chapter 4 : Business Names and Industry Codes of Conduct

Part A : Business names

81. Criteria for business names



1) Subject to subsection (2), a business name may comprise words in any language irrespective of whether the words are commonly used or contrived for the purpose, together with—
a) any letters, numbers or punctuation marks;
b) any of the following symbols: +, &, #, @, %, =;
c) any other symbol permitted by the regulations made in terms of subsection (3); or
d) round brackets used in pairs to isolate any part of the name, alone or in any combination.


2) A business name—
a) must not be the same as, or confusingly similar to—
i) a name of a juristic person incorporated in terms of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act No. 61 of 1973), the Close Corporations Act, 1984 (Act No. 69 of 1984), or the Co-operatives Act, 2005 (Act No. 14 of 2005);
ii) a registered trade mark belonging to another person, or a mark in respect of which an application has been filed in the Republic for registration as a trade mark or a well-known trade mark as contemplated in section 35 of the Trade Marks Act, 1993 (Act No. 194 of 1993), unless the applicant for registration of the mark as a business name either—
aa) is the registered owner or applicant for registration of the mark; or
bb) has been granted a licence to that mark; or
iii) a mark, word or expression, the use of which is restricted or protected in terms of the Merchandise Marks Act, 1941 (Act No. 17 of 1941), except to the extent permitted in terms of that Act;
b) must not falsely imply or suggest, or be such as would reasonably mislead, a person to believe incorrectly that the business
i) is part of, or associated with, any other person or entity;
ii) is an organ of state or a court, or is operated, sponsored, supported or endorsed by the State or by any organ of state or a court;
iii) is owned, managed or conducted by persons having any particular educational designation or who are regulated persons or entities;
iv) is owned, operated, sponsored, supported or endorsed by, or enjoys the patronage of—
aa) any foreign state, head of state, head of government, government or administration or any department of such a government or administration; or
bb) any international organisation; or
c) must not include any words, expression or symbol that, in isolation or in context within the name, fall into the category of expression contemplated in section 16(2) of the Constitution.


3) The Minister may prescribe additional commonly recognised symbols for use in business names, as contemplated in subsection (1)(c).