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Keep it legal - what must be included on your company stationery and invoices

In all aspects of business, people should know exactly how to contact the business, contact you, and where to find you. Not having this information clearly available can make buyers and suppliers suspicious. This can lead to refusal to do business with you.

All correspondence and marketing should clearly state the information legally required. This can include letters, websites, compliment slips, contracts, receipts, and any advertising material. It can be easy to overlook things like email signatures, and if you have employees issuing correspondence have guidelines set so there is no confusion.

What the information needed actually is depends on your trading status. Limited companies need to have additional information included on all correspondence including electronic. If not provided it could be said you are trading under you own name and not that of a company.

Sole Traders
Stationary and website should show
  • Company name
  • Your own name, if it isn't part of the company name.
  • The address for correspondence
  • The contact details including, phone number, fax number, email address.
  • The VAT registration number, if you are registered for VAT
Invoices must:
  • State the word 'invoice'
  • Have a unique number
  • Show the invoice date
  • Show the company name, (and yours if not included), the company address, and contact information.
  • The company name and address of whom you are invoicing
  • A clear breakdown and description of gods and services tax
  • The price being charged
  • The amount of VAT, if registered, being charged and at what rate it is being applied
  • Total amount being invoiced
  • Information on how to pay
  • Clearly show a payment due date
Partnerships
Needs to use the same information as a sole trader on stationary, websites and invoices. Partners are not obligated to be named, but if you list one partner name, you must list them all.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
Rules are same as for sole trader on stationary, websites, and invoices. In addition, it must be included on email correspondence along with:
  • The LLP's registered name
  • Any trading names
  • Where the LLP is registered
  • The address of the registered office
  • The correspondence address.
Not providing this can be considered to be trading in your own name and not the name of the LLP.

Partners do not have to be named but if you name one, you must name all.

Limited Company
The same rules apply for stationary, website and invoices as for Sole Trader. Information must also be included on emails, along with:
  • The full legal name of the company
  • Any trading names
  • Where the company is registered, i.e. England
  • The registered company number
  • The registered office address
  • The correspondence address
Not providing this can be considered to be trading in your own name and not the name of the LLP.

Company directors do not have to be named but if you name one, you must name all.
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