Article reference: UK-IA-CP02

Information a company must disclose about itself

From 1 October 2008, new rules under the Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008 unified and replaced various regulations from different areas of law.

Request for information

When any person you deal with in the course of business, requests in writing any of the following, you must respond within five days:

  • the address of your registered office or any other place where that person can inspect company records

  • the type of company records you keep at these locations

Identity of directors

If the name of any of a company's directors appears in a letter - other than in the text or as a signatory, you must then include the names of all directors in that letter.

Display of signage

You must display the company's registered name at its registered office and inspection places, and any other location at which you carry on business. The sign must be in a prominent position so that a visitor can read it easily. A company may be exempt from this requirement if:

  • it has never traded - that is, they have been dormant since incorporation

  • the location is primarily a domestic location

Shared premises and electronic signage

Where a business property is shared by six or more companies and an electronic notice board is used, each company is required to display its registered name only for at least 15 continuous seconds at least once every three minutes.

Business correspondence

You must display your company name on business letters, notices, official publications, and websites.

You must also display your company's registered number and the address of its registered office on your electronic and paper documents, including emails, invoices, receipts, order forms and websites. You do not have to do so, on every page of your website, but must place this information so that it can be easily found and read.

VAT numbers and details

VAT numbers and VAT details do not have to be supplied under the Companies Act 2006. You may want to check the point with HM Revenue & Customs.

Non-compliance

Enforcement is carried out by Companies House and local Trading Standards officers.

If you do not comply you and your company commit and offence and could be subject to a fine. The current fine is up to £1,000.

Summary

On any business letters, order forms or websites, you must display the following:

  • registered company name

  • place of registration (for example, Scotland, or England and Wales)

  • registered number

  • address of registered office

  • if exempt from having "limited" as part of name, disclose it is a limited company

  • if a private community interest company, disclose this fact

  • if an investment company, disclose this fact

  • if there is reference to share capital, this must be a reference to paid-up share capital

You must further display your registered name on:

  • notices & official publications

  • bills of exchange

  • promissory notes

  • endorsements

  • cheques

  • orders for money, goods or services

  • bills of parcels

  • invoices & demands for payment

  • receipts

  • letters of credit

  • applications for licences to carry on a trade or activity

  • all other forms of business correspondence or documentation

  • signs at premises

Further information

Next, you may want to read about choosing a suitable business name or the legal documents you might need to start your business.

Please note that the information provided on this page:

  • Does not provide a complete or authoritative statement of the law;
  • Does not constitute legal advice by Net Lawman;
  • Does not create a contractual relationship;
  • Does not form part of any other advice, whether paid or free.
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