Are your letterheads legal?

Well…are they?

It might seem like a strange question, but you may be surprised to hear that there are in fact a number of things your corporate letterheads MUST include if they’re to stay on the right side of the law.

You probably send out correspondence on headed paper all the time, and may have never been aware that such requirements existed.

But don’t fret!

We know exactly what you need to include and luckily for you everything is simple enough to implement. Whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company, here are the legal requirements.

Sole Trader

As a sole trader, you have the least to worry about.

You can trade under your own name (e.g. Joe Bloggs) or under a business name. If you trade under a business name, your letterheads must include your full name and business address.

Partnership

If you trade as a partnership, all letterheads, order forms, receipts and invoices need to include the names of all partners and the main business address. If there are a large number of partners, you can give a website address where a complete list can be found.

Limited Company

Limited companies have the longest list of legal guidelines to stick to. These state that your letterheads and stationery must include:

• The full, registered company name.

• Registered company number and place of registration.

• The registered company address and – if different – the business address.

• If your letterheads are used as an invoice or order form and you are VAT registered, your VAT number must be included.

• It is not a legal requirement to name directors but if you do, all must be named.

• Companies exempt from using the word ‘limited’ in their name, must state they are.

It is also best-practice to include contact information such as phone numbers, email addresses and website URLs.

Some final things to bear in mind for all types of business:

• Investment companies must state they are such.

• Charitable companies who don’t have the words ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ in their name must state that they are a charity.

So there you have it – a few pointers to help you keep your letterheads legal!

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