Including Charity and Legal Details on Publicity

Charity Registration Numbers, Company Details on Publicity and Other Documents – the Legal Position

From 1 January 2007, the Companies Act 1985 rules relating to the information that must be on company documents are amended and explicitly extended to include order forms, electronic documents and websites.

Business letters and order forms—whether in hard copy, electronic or other form—and all of the company’s websites must include the company’s full name, its place of registration, its company number, the address of its registered office, and in the case of company exempt from the requirement to use “limited” as part of its name (e.g. a company limited by guarantee), the fact that it is a limited company.

These details do not need to be on every page of a website, but they do need to be “legible”, which means they can’t be in tiny print.

Many emails that go out of the company are likely to be classed as business letters, so all outgoing emails should include a footer with all the required disclosures.

The company’s full name, but not the other details, must be on all of its notices (of meetings etc) and other official publications, cheques, orders for money or goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company, bills of exchange, promissory notes, invoices, receipts, bills of parcels and letters of credit—whether in hard copy, electronic or other form.

Where a company is being wound up, whether voluntarily or by the court, a statement that it is being wound up must be included on every invoice, order for goods, business letter or order form—whether hard copy, electronic or any other form—and all of its websites.

The Companies (Registrar, Languages and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2006 are at www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2006/20063429.htm.

Note that these are only the Companies Act provisions. Other information may need to be on these and other documents and on websites, for example charitable status, VAT registration number, information required by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002, registration with regulatory bodies ….
 
The new Companies Act 2006 will also impact on charities that are also registered as companies.

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