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Business Stationery – The Legal Requirements

Apr 28, 2017

Before you order any stationery for your new company, make sure you’re up to date with legal requirements

Your business stationery, such as your letterheads, must contain certain information by law. Before you go ahead and start ordering designs for your new company, it’s a good idea to make sure your stationery is going to comply with legal requirements – not just something that looks great.

Your company name must clearly appear on all correspondence and official documents, including company notices and publications, and all the company’s order forms and business letters. It must also appear on your website; it is not necessary to display your business name on every page but when it does appear, it must be clearly legible.

Stationery and Promotional Material

The requirements are simple, but they do vary based on the type of business that you run. If you are a sole trader, you are able to trade under your own name or a business name. When choosing the latter option, you must display your own name as well as the business address on all letterheads and order forms.

When you are running a partnership business, letterheads, order forms, receipts and invoices need to include the names of all partners and the address of the main office. If you have a large number of partners, you can instead clearly state where a full list of partners can be found.

For limited companies, your company documents, publicity and letters need to include your full registered company name including the part that identifies it as a limited company, registration number and place of registration. You must also display your registered office address and place of business, if different.

It is not required to list the directors of your limited company on your stationery but if you list one, you must list them all.

Although not required by law, it is good practice to add a telephone number, website URL and an email address.

Signs

If you’re running your business from your home, you don’t need to display a sign there. However, you must display a sign showing your company name wherever your business operates. This must be easy to read and see at any time, regardless of whether you are open or not.

Email Signatures

Legal guidelines now extend to the emails your business sends. When sending emails from your company, you must include a signature that contains the following:

  • Your company’s registered name
  • Your company registration number
  • Your place of registration (e.g. Scotland or England and Wales)
  • Your registered office address

Companies House provides more information on business stationery requirements on its website

Author

@UKPLC Company Registrations

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