Did you know that your business email footer must contain specific pieces of information by law?
The Companies Act (UK letterhead legal requirements) states that all business must display the following business details on their letterheads.
- The name of their business
- The part of the country that the business is registered
- The registered company number
- The address of the registered office
Furthermore – if you’re a partnership business, your letterheads must include; all the same requirements as those listed under “Sole Trader”, plus the names of all the partners. The address of the main office. If there are too many partners to name, you can state where a full list of partners can be found.
It may be surprising to some, but failure to include certain company details on your email signature and other official company communications, including letterheads and your website, could land your business in hot water. Specifically, companies that fail to comply could face a fine of up to £1,000.
The BCA posted guidelines relating to UK company email footers and communications back in 2014, which explained the information required for use on official company communications. That advice hasn’t changed, and it still refers to every private limited company (LTD), public limited company (PLC) and Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) operating in the UK today.
To re-cap, the UK Companies Act 2006 (amended 2007) states that company communications – including letterheads, order forms, company website and business emails – must include the following information in legible characters:
- Your company name
- Your company registration number
- Your place of registration (e.g. Scotland or England & Wales)
Your registered office address – note that this may be different to the office that you trade from.
This not only applies to company directors, it also applies to every member of your team who sends an external business email from your company. This information should also appear on your company website along with your letterheads, order forms and other official documentation.
In certain industries, your regulator or trade body information may be required. For example, a company within the financial services must state that they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and sometimes the Prudential Regulation Authority.
You can find the company information for any UK business on: companieshouse.co.uk
As well as your logo, website and contact details you may think this is a lot to include on your letterhead, however the right design can utilise the space effectively and present the right image to your customers and/or clients.
As a sole trader, if you trade under a business name rather than your own name, you must ensure that your name and business address is included on all letterheads and order forms.