Trading Disclosure and Business Names

Your clients have a legal right to know who they are dealing with (i.e the legal entity that they are trading with).

If you use a name to trade under other than that of the legal entity, then you need to disclose the full details of the legal entity including an address where you will accept service of documents.

For corporate bodies, there are specific disclosure requirements.

All of this needs to go on business documents including letters and emails and websites amongst other things.

Legal Entity

An association, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, trust, or individual that has legal standing in the eyes of law. A legal entity has the legal capacity to enter into agreements or contracts, assume obligations, incur and pay debts, sue and be sued in its own right, and to be held responsible for its actions.

Business Names

There are specific requirements relating to the name a business wishes to trade under and rules to prevent the use of misleading names. Business names must not:

  • be the same as an existing trademark
  • include ‘limited’, ‘Ltd’, ‘limited liability partnership, ‘LLP’, ‘public limited company’ or ‘plc’
  • contain a ‘sensitive’ word or expression unless you get permission

There are requirements about the details business have to disclose to their customers:

  • An individual trading under a name which is not their surname, with or without initials, has to give their name and an address at which the service of documents will be accepted;
  • Partnerships that use a name other than the surnames, with or without initials, of the individual partners, have to give the names of all the partners and an address at which the service of documents will be accepted; and
  • Incorporated bodies such as limited liability companies or partnerships (Ltd and LLP) have to make Trading Disclosures.

What are Trading Disclosures?

This is the term used in the Companies Act 2006 to cover the rules about the information companies must provide.

The Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008

These Regulations deal with trading disclosures to be made by companies registered in any part of the United Kingdom.

The disclosures have to be made at certain locations (the registered office and other places of business), in company documentation e.g. letters (including electronic equivalents e.g. emails) and on company websites.

The Regulations also require companies to respond to enquiries about where their company records are kept available for inspection.

Unsolicited Marketing Emails

Recently we seem to have had a spate of marketing emails from people without any regard for the rules on privacy!

We all make mistakes but a lack of knowledge of the rules puts their business reputation at risk and exposes them to a substantial fine.

If you provide unsolicited marketing material, the Information Commissioner’s Office produces a handy Direct Marketing Checklist which includes a guide to the marketing rules. You can download it here.

Cookie banner frustration

The European Commission has proposed new regulations that would limit the way companies track users on the internet.

Part of that plan would see the removal of website banners that provide disclaimers on cookie policies and instead have the user’s browser preferences automatically apply to each site they visit. In addition companies will need to get explicit consent from a user before being allowed to track their online activities.

If passed, the new rules will come into effect by May 2018.

Read more… (opens in a new tab)

Making unsolicited sales and marketing calls?

If you are going to telephone a business for unsolicited sales and marketing purposes you are legally required to make sure that they are not on the Corporate TPS.

The Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) is the central opt out register for corporate subscribers to register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls.

To make sure you don’t break the law and potentially damage your reputation you can check if a number is registered using the online TPS Checker.

You have to register, but then its free to check up to a certain number of phone numbers per day – it’s a simple and quick way to check rather than making a costly mistake that could also harm your reputation.

Crimson Crab talking about GDPR on 93.7 Express FM

The rules are changing on data protection, if you want to find out more, Rob from Crimson Crab will be talking to Miles Hensen on 93.7 Express FM’s Business Programme at 7pm on Thursday 29th June 2017.

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Many thanks to Reputation Advocate Lorna Jackson of Advance & Get Noticed for arranging this.