We’re not talking about divulging your business secrets. The look and feel of your company’s website are key from a marketing point of view, but do you know what information you must include to comply with the law?

Legally required

All companies are legally obliged to make “trading disclosures” by virtue of the Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015, made under the Companies Act 2006. The requirements are pretty straightforward but are often overlooked by companies.


Disclosures make sure that a company’s identity and location are common knowledge. This enables those dealing with it to track it down at Companies House, take legal action against it if necessary and inspect its statutory records. It protects those running it by drawing attention to its limited liability status to ensure that third parties know the directors and shareholders can’t be sued personally.

Information required

The company’s website has to set out:

  • the company’s full registered name - which may be different from its trading name
  • if the company is allowed to omit “Limited” or “Ltd” from its name, and the fact that it is a limited company
  • the part of the UK in which it is registered (e.g. E&W).
  • its company registration number
  • the full registered office address.

This information should be easy to find, e.g. on the homepage. It doesn’t have to appear on every page.

Not just websites

Companies also have to include the same information on all letters and other documents they produce, whether sent out in hard copy or electronically. The easiest way to comply is to include the information in your standard pre-printed letterhead and e-mail templates. Tip. Make sure to update your website, stationery and e-mail templates if your company’s name or registered office address changes; discard any old versions.

Not incorporated - does this apply?

If a sole trader uses a business name that is not their surname, or a partnership uses a name that doesn’t include all of the names of its partners, it has to make similar trading disclosures - an address for service in the UK and their name. Partnerships have to disclose the name of each partner (a full list can be kept at the main office instead if there are more than 20 partners).

Costly mistake – The company and its directors can be prosecuted.

Breaching the trading disclosures requirements is a criminal offence, attracting fines of up to £1,000, plus a daily fine of up to £100 if the breach continues. There may also be implications for the company if it needs to take legal action to enforce a contract. If the other party has been put at a disadvantage by the company failing to make the proper disclosures, the company’s claim can be dismissed.

As compliance goes, this is an easy one to get right. Make sure your company’s name, registration number and location, and its registered office address are included on your website, e-mails and other documents.