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Let’s Get One Thing Straight #4 – What Information Do UK Companies Need To Include In Business Correspondence & Documentation?

What standard information to include in e-mails, letter heads and other business documents is a regular question from our travel & leisure clients. In this edition of “Let’s Get One Thing Straight…”,  Rosie Riley sets out the position.

All UK businesses must adhere to certain rules when it comes to their correspondence, whether this be letterheads, emails, websites or anything else. The Companies Act 2006 and (less snappily named…) Company Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015 set out specifically what requirements business must include in various documents.

In essence, anything sent out by your company under these rules, should include as a minimum:

  • The full, registered name (i.e. the full LTD or PLC name) which can be clearly read,
  • The registered address, including which part of the UK the company is situated – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales etc…,
  • The company number.

If you have any other sector specific requirements they will almost certainly be required also. For instance, here at Travlaw we display the fact that we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Whilst there are various other conditional requirements, outside of that you can largely then add whatever you wish that may be sensible. So, on e-mails it is typical to see warnings about receiving an e-mail not intended for you, to double check any payment details as well as general images and banners with  company logo, social media links, awards and certification etc… Having enough space is often the biggest challenge here!

One often overlooked aspect of all of this is that the requirements apply not only to e-mails and letter heads, but order forms, invoices, websites and anything that could be described as “business correspondence and documentation”. We still see many companies that do not have some of this fundamental information included on, say, their websites. If in doubt, check or ask!

S28 of the Names and Trading Disclosures Regulations (2015) state that if the requirements are not complied with, then your company and every officer who is in default, may be liable to a level 3 fine (£1000). If the breach continues, a daily default fine will be applied (1/10 of a level 3 fine = £100). A good motivator to get things in order!

You can see the main business names legislation here https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/17/contents/made

There is also some very good guidance from gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/incorporation-and-names/incorporation-and-names#disclosure-of-company-name-and-specified-other-information-trading-disclosures

Catch up with the previous entries in the ‘Let’s Get One Thing Straight’ series;

Number 1 – Card Fees

Number 2 – Freedom of Information Requests

Number 3 – Cooling Off Periods

This article was originally published on: 18 June 2024

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