Are you using your business name correctly?

Sounds an odd question but if you use a “business (or trading) name” then the Companies Act 2006 has some requirements for you to follow, even if you are not a ltd company!

So what is a business name?

It’s a name used by any trader for carrying on business, where:

  • individuals trade under a name which is not their own;
  • partnerships do not use the names of all the partners;
  • a registered company, such as a limited liability partnership or limited company, trades under a name which is different from its registered company name.

What is required?

In essence you must ensure that your customers know who they are trading with. Companies house don’t require the registration of a business name, so don’t make the mistake of letting anyone charge you to register it for you!

Some words are banned from use in a business name and there are restrictions on the use of others.

You will need to give the name of the legal entity (or entities) using it. You will also need to give an address in the UK, at which documents can be served, for each person (or corporation) named, e.g. the registered office address of a limited company.

This information must be shown legibly in any place where you carry on your business and where you deal with customers or suppliers, on business letters, written orders for the supply of goods or services, business emails, invoices and receipts and written demands for the payment of business debts. A company will also need to comply with disclosure requirements in relation to its name and registered office address on business documents and websites.

Failure to comply with the requirements is a criminal offence and in addition you may be unable to enforce your contracts with others.

Is your reputation at risk?

Not sure then please get in touch

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