Regulations on identical and confusingly similar names under the Enterprise Law in Vietnam

What are the regulations on identical and confusingly similar names? Is it allowed to use a name that causes confusion with a previously registered business in Vietnam? - Bao Tran (Nghe An)

Regulations on identical and confusingly similar names under the Enterprise Law in Vietnam

Regulations on identical and confusingly similar names under the Enterprise Law in Vietnam (Internet image) 

Regarding this issue, LawNet would like to answer as follows:

1. Regulations on identical and confusingly similar names under the Enterprise Law in Vietnam

According to Article 41 of the Law on Enterprise 2020, identical and confusingly similar names are regulated as follows:

(i)  Identical name means a Vietnamese name that is chosen by the applying enterprise and is identical to the Vietnamese name of a registered enterprise.

(ii) A name is considered identical to a registered enterprise’s name in the following cases:

(ii.1) The Vietnamese name of the applying enterprise is pronounced similarly to a registered enterprise’s name;

(ii.2) The abbreviated name of the applying enterprise is identical to the abbreviated name of a registered enterprise;

(ii.3) The foreign language name of the applying enterprise is identical to the foreign language name of a registered enterprise;

(ii.4) The proper name of the applying enterprise is only different from the proper name of a registered enterprise by a natural number or a letter in the Vietnamese alphabet or any of the letters F, J, Z, W that is written right after the proper name with or without a space;

(ii.5) The proper name of the applying enterprise is only different from the proper name of an registered enterprise of the same type by the word “và” (“and”) or the symbol “&”, ”, “.”, “,”, “+”, “-”, “_”;

(ii.6) The proper name of the applying enterprise is only different from the proper name of an registered enterprise of the same type by the word “tân” or “mới” (“new”) that is written right before or after the proper name;

(ii.7) The proper name of the applying enterprise is only different from the proper name of an registered enterprise of one of the phrases “miền Bắc” (“north”), “miền Nam” (“south”), “miền Trung” (“central”), “miền Tây” (“west”), “miền Đông” (“east”);

(ii.8) The proper name of the applying enterprise is identical to that of a registered enterprise.

(iii) The cases specified in Points (ii.4), (ii.5), (ii.6), (ii.7), (ii.8) do not apply to subsidiary companies of the registered company.

2. Is it allowed to use a name that causes confusion with a previously registered business in Vietnam?

Pursuant to Article 38 of the Law on Enterprise 2020, the prohibited acts of naming enterprises are as follows:

- Use of any name that is identical or confusingly similar to another enterprise’s name that is registered in accordance with Article 41 of Article 38 of the Law on Enterprise 2020.

- Use of the name of a state authority, the People’s military unit, political organization, socio-political organization, socio-political-professional organization, social organization, social-professional organization as part or all of an enterprise’s name, unless it is accepted by that authority, unit or organization.

- Use of words or symbols that against the country’s history, culture, ethical values and good traditions.

Thus, according to the above regulations, businesses are not allowed to have the same name or a name that causes confusion with the registered business name.

However, based on Clause 3, Article 18 of Decree 01/2021/ND-CP, enterprises that are operating under their investment licenses or investment certificates (also business registration certificates) or another document of equivalent validity issued before July 01, 2015 and whose name are the same as or confused with other enterprises’ names registered on the National Enterprise Registration Database may continue using their registered name and are not required to change such names.

Nguyen Ngoc Que Anh

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