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Companies Act 2006 – Trading Disclosures

On 1 October 2008 the Companies (Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2008 will come into force. The 2008 regulations are made under section 82 of the Companies Act 2006.

The stated aim of the 2008 regulations is to ensure that all those who have or may wish to have dealings with a company can ascertain the legal identity of that company. This objective is to be achieved, principally, by ensuring that a company’s name is included on specified documents, websites and on signs at a company’s premises.

Although the 2008 regulations do not impose sweeping changes to previous legislation, now is the time to check that your existing practices comply with the new law. It should be noted that failure to comply with the 2008 regulations could result in a fine for both the company and every director of the company who is responsible for the breach.

Pursuant to the 2008 regulations, the company’s full name should be:

clearly visible to a visitor at any location where the company carries on its business. The company’s name should also be displayed at the registered office and any place where documents and other company records are available for inspection;

easily found on the company’s website;

disclosed on its business correspondence and other documents including:

notices and other official publications;

bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements and order forms;

cheques signed by or on behalf of the company;

orders for money, goods or services signed for or on behalf of the company;

invoices and other demands for payment, receipts and letters of credit; and

applications for licences to carry out a trade or activity.

In addition, the company’s registered number, address and the part of the UK where the company is registered must appear on its business letters, order forms and website.

The 2008 regulations also require that where a company’s business letters contain the name of a director, other than in the text or as a signatory, the letter must disclose the name of every director of that company.