The name of the river is believed to be derived from a dock that was located on the river in Victoria, adjacent to a pastoral lease held by Benjamin Boyd. The dock was named "Ben's Dock". However, there was a lack of uniformity in the spelling, variously as Bendoc or Bendock, in relation to a mountain, the river, a parish, and the town near the Victoria and New South Wales borders. In 1966, the Shire of Orbost informed the Victorian government that local sentiment wished to retain the spelling Bendoc. The matter was finalised when the decision of the Minister of Lands was published in the Victoria Government Gazette on 29 May 1968, proclaiming the town and river to be spelt Bendoc.