What is a Name Complaint?

A name complaint is an application to the Registrar to direct an entity to change its name registered with ACRA.

A person (“Complainant”) may apply in writing to the Registrar (“name complaint application”) to direct a business or other business entity (“Respondent”) to change its business name if:  

(a) the Respondent’s business name falls under any of the grounds below; 

  • undesirable (E.g. contains expletive);
  • identical to the business name of another company, limited liability partnership, corporation or business (E.g. Wee Trading and Wee International Trading);  
  • of a kind the Minister of Finance has directed the Registrar not to accept (E.g. “Temasek”); 

(b) the Respondent’s business name so nearly resembles Complainant’s business name as to be likely to be mistaken for the Complainant’s business name (E.g. PQRS Confectionary and PQRS Bakery).

Before you write in to the Registrar to submit a name complaint application, please do the following:

a) Refer to ACRA’s Policy Statement on the Treatment of Business Names and Name Complaints (PDF, 433KB) so as to have a better understanding of our approach in dealing with registration of business names and our handling of name complaint applications.

b) Visit the BizFile+ ACRA Register search page to check for the Respondent’s name and unique entity number, and conduct a check at least annually to see if another business entity with a name which has a near resemblance to your business name has been registered with ACRA.


How to Submit a Name Complaint Application 

Step 1: Prepare

Prepare a complaint. Clearly state the following details of the entity which is the subject of complaint:

  • business name
  • unique entity number
  • address (if available)
  • type and location of business activities and customers
  • the basis of the complaint, e.g. explain how the entity’s business name so nearly resembles the complainant’s business name as to be likely to be mistaken for it* 
  • evidence of confusion by members of the public in mistaking the business names and financial detriment caused by the confusion, and any other relevant correspondence between the parties 
  • evidence of an injunction from the courts prohibiting the use of certain  
     words in the complainant’s business name (if applicable) 

*Note: Name complaints on this basis must be lodged within 12 months from the date that the entity which is the subject of complaint was incorporated or registered.

Step 2: Attach

Attach all relevant supporting documents to the complaint.  Relevant supporting documents may include copies of letters, invoices, emails or other correspondence sent by members of the public by mistake to the entity which is the subject of complaint, documents showing financial detriment, and any other relevant correspondence between the parties.

Step 3: Submit

Submit the name complaint and relevant supporting documents via General Lodgment in BizFile+. You may refer to the step by step guide to filing the General Lodgement transaction in BizFile+ at eServices > Others > General > General Lodgement.

We will inform you to make payment of the application fee of $200 after accepting the General Lodgment. Payment of the application fee must be made using credit card or PayPal only.

What to Do After Submitting

Wait for a Response

After lodging your complaint with payment, ACRA endeavours to make a decision and take action expeditiously. However, names complaints may be contentious, we may therefore need some time to seek information and legal/factual submissions from the parties involved before making a final decision. However, we will try to keep parties updated every step of the way.

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