business stationery compliance

What You Need To Know About Business Stationery Compliance

Linkilaw Business Structures, Legal Advice

What You Need To Know About Business Stationery Compliance

Business stationery can be a great way to stay professional and creative when developing your business. Most letterheads include the names of directors, the place of registration and the company’s and its directors’ contact details. However, there are legal requirements in place outlining what should be included on stationery and where. The Companies (Trading Disclosures) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 sets out the full details of the law regarding business stationery, as summarised below.

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Sole Trader Business Guidelines

As a sole trader, you could decide to trade under your own name or choose a different business name. If you are choosing a  business name that is not your own name, it’s legally required that you include your own name and the business address on all letterheads and order forms to avoid committing an offence.

Partnership Business Guidelines

All letterheads, order forms, receipts and invoices must include the names of all partners and the address of the main office. If there are more partners than would be professional to include, it is legally acceptable to include where most partners may be found.

Limited Company Business Guidelines

The letterhead and order form stationary must include:

  • Your full registered company name;
  • The company registration number and place of registration;
  • The company registered address and the address of its place of business, if different;
  • There is no need to include the names of the directors on the letterhead for a limited company, but if you choose to name anyone, directors must be named.

In the financial services industry, firms must state the fact that they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. If it’s a charitable company whose name does not include either the words ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’, letterheads must state it is a charity.

Now that you know what to include, here’s where you need to include this information:

  • Company notices and publications;
  • All of the company’s order forms and business letters;
  • Bills of parcels, invoices, receipts and letters of credit as well as bills of exchange, cheques, promissory notes, endorsements and orders for money on goods signed by the company; and
  • All the company’s websites. While it’s not necessary to show the company name on each page, it must be easily read.

For email correspondence, if the paper equivalent would have to follow the legal requirements, so too does the email. Most companies will include the required information in the email footer automatically when the email is sent or require all employees to use an email footer that includes these requirements.

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You should now have an understanding of what information to include on business stationery, but if you’re unclear about your legal obligations, contact Linkilaw for more information to help grow your company into a stable and successful company.