HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

BIM80650 - Computing the amount to assess: business changes: succession and changes in ownership: factors affecting succession

A transfer for value of the goodwill of a trade is strong evidence that the purchaser has succeeded to the trade (Thomson and Balfour v Le Page [1923] 8TC541).

But it is not conclusive since goodwill, along with other assets of a business, may have value even if the business has lost the identity necessary for succession (Reynolds Sons & Co Ltd v Ogston [1930] 15TC515).

The transfer of tangible assets does not by itself amount to succession (Watson Brothers v Lothian [1902] 4TC441, and Wilson and Barlow v Chibbett [1929] 14TC407). Nor by itself does the passing on of lists of trade customers (Mills from Emelie Ltd v CIR (1919) 12TC73.