Website and email requirements for Companies

As of 1st January 2007 UK companies and LLPs require the following information on their website and in their e-mails:

  • • The company name (this might differ from the trading name)
  • • The company registered office (which must be a geographical address not a PO Box)
  • • The company’s registration number and country of registration
  • • An e-mail address where the company can be contacted (requirement not necessarily for e-mails)
  • • If the company is a member of a trade or professional association, membership details, including any registration number (requirement not necessarily for e-mails)
  • • It is also advisable but not essential for the business to place its VAT number on the website and e-mails as well.
    Note – the information must be clear and easily accessible. However, for a website, it does not need to appear on every page; for example, the information can be included on an “about us” or “legal” page. For e-mails, the information can be contained in a footer.

Contact us : reina@bizlawuk.co.uk to see how we can help your business be compliant with UK laws.

Budget Highlights

Business and digital

  • New 2% digital services tax on UK revenues of big technology companies, from April 2020
  • Profitable companies with global sales of more than £500m will be liable
  • Private finance initiative (PFI) contracts to be abolished in future
  • New centre of excellence to manage existing deals “in the taxpayer’s interest”
  • Annual investment allowance to be increased from £200,000 to £1m for two years
  • Contribution of small companies to apprenticeship levy to be reduced from 10% to 5%
  • Business rates bill for firms with a rateable value of £51,000 or less to be cut by third over two years
  • Measure to benefit 90% of independent companies, cutting bill by £8,000
  • £900m in business rates relief for small businesses and £650m to rejuvenate High Streets
  • New 100% mandatory business rates relief for all lavatories made available for public use, whether publicly or privately owned
  • Extending changes to the way self-employment status is taxed, from the public sector to medium and large private companies, from 2020

 

Use of the word “FREE” in marketing promotions

Use of the word “FREE” in marketing promotions

The Advertising Standards Authority is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media, whose work includes acting on complaints and proactively checking TV, Radio, print and online media to take action against misleading, harmful or offensive advertisements, sales promotions and direct marketing.

If they judge an ad to be in breach of the UK Advertising Codes, it must be withdrawn or amended and the advertiser must not use the approach again.
Today we shed some light on the CAP rules it follows for Sales Promotions:
In recent years, the ASA has published several adjudications on the use of “free” in marketing communications, a claim that marketers and consumers have often found confusing.
Some consumers expect “free” promotional goods to be entirely without cost and in some promotions consumers receive something for absolutely nothing, for example, a free product sample handed out to passers-by. But the Code allows a free item to be conditional on the purchase of other items (see below) and promoters may make a minimal charge for obtaining a so-called “free” item.
For example, promoters may charge the uninflated cost of postage (though front-page flashes offering “free” goods should indicate that it is extra, for example “plus postage”). Promoters wishing to offer ‘free’ goods cannot legitimately charge for anything other than postage, such as packaging, packing, administration, handling, insurance etc.
The question of whether a product or service should be referred to as “free” or “inclusive” has proved most troublesome in recent years. Broadly, if a product is offered “free” as part of a conditional-purchase promotion that is unlikely to breach the Code but marketers may not describe an individual element of a package offer as “free”: the proper term is “inclusive”.
The Code allows “free” to be used if customers are required to buy other items – a conditional-purchase promotion – provided their liability for all costs is made clear, the quality or composition of the paid-for items has not been reduced and the price of the paid-for items has not been inflated to recover the cost of supplying the free item. If the item that is being described as “free” is genuinely separate from and additional to the item that the customer is required to pay for, the offer qualifies as a conditional-purchase promotion and the item may legitimately be described as “free”. An offer can satisfy the criteria for being a conditional-purchase promotion in one of two ways: (i) the paid-for item is separable from the free item for example, a free lipstick with the purchase of a women’s magazine or (ii) the paid-for item has an established price and is usually sold alone without the free item, for example a chocolate bar with 50% extra free.

For the full article or any advice on how we can help minimize risk please email us on reina@bizlawuk.co.uk

Advertising laws

It is important to get your ad campaigns checked before they get published to prevent bad publicity should they get pulled up . The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) through its CAP and BCAP Codes regulates Adverts in the UK for print, online and broadcast media They expect all advertising online to be legal, decent, honest and truthful.  They also list traders who continue to make claims on their online sites that do not comply with the UK Advertising Code despite repeated requests for changes from their Compliance teams. Details of each non-conforming trader will remain in place until they have appropriately amended their marketing in line with the Advertising Code.

For more information on how we can help prevent risk for your business and marketing strategy contact Reina D’costa at reina@bizlawuk.co.uk or visit us at http://www.bizlawuk.co.uk to find out how we can help.

Employment law updates

 

The Government has announced an increase to the compensation awards that can be made by the Employment Tribunals and to the statutory rates used to calculate certain employee payments.

From 6 April 2014 the following increases will come into force:

  • week’s pay (used for calculating statutory redundancy payments and certain tribunal awards) will increase from £450 to £464.
  • The maximum compensatory award for a successful claim of unfair dismissal will rise from £72,000 to £76,574 (although since 29 July 2013 these awards are the lower of 52 weeks’ pay and the maximum compensatory award).
  • The maximum basic award for unfair dismissal/statutory redundancy pay therefore increases from £13,500 to £13,920.The minimum basic award will increase from £5,000 to £5,676.

The above increases will only apply to events that give rise to compensation that occur on or after 6 April 2014.

The following statutory rates have also increased in line with inflation:

  • Guarantee pay (used during periods of layoff and short-time working) will increase from £24.20 to £25 per day.
  • Sick pay will rise from £86.70 to £87.55.
  • Maternity, ordinary and additional paternity and adoption leave will rise from £136.78 to £138.18.

For further information please contact Reina D’costa at reina@bizlawuk.co.uk

Prevention is better than Cure!

www.bizlawuk.co.uk

 

Insolvency statistics UK 4th Quarter

Alarming how many businesses can go under without proper risk strategy and regular monitoring of the business . Luckily the figures are coming down .

The Insolvency Service today published the 4th Quarter 2013 Insolvency Statistics

These can be found at: http://www.insolvencydirect.bis.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/201402/index.htm

The headline results are as follows:

There were 14,982 company liquidations in 2013 – a decrease of 7.3% compared with 2012 and the lowest level since 2007. Of these, 3,624 were compulsory liquidations (down 14.9% on 2012 and the lowest level since 1981), and 11,358 were creditors’ voluntary liquidations (down 4.5% on 2012 and the lowest level since 2010).
The number of administrations, receiverships and company voluntary arrangements were all lower in 2013 than in 2012.
There were 101,049 individual insolvencies in 2013 – a decrease of 7.9% on 2012 and the lowest level since 2005. Creditor petitions, debtor petitions and debt relief orders all decreased (by 18.8%, 23.9% and 11.7% respectively). The number of individual voluntary arrangements, however, increased by 4.9% compared with 2012, standing at 48,967 in total.

To discuss how you can protect your business from risk of insolvency contact Reina Dcosta , BizLawUK  via reina@bizlawuk.co.uk,  check out our website  http://www.bizlawuk.co.uk , follow us on @bizlawuk and claim your free business risk audit.

Testimonials-Advertising Law

Testimonials must relate to the product advertised and claims in a testimonial that are likely to be interpreted as factual must not mislead or be likely to mislead the consumer (Rules 3.46 and 3.47). Marketers may not use testimonials to circumvent the Code by making claims in a consumer review that they would not otherwise be permitted to make. For example, if a marketer doesn’t hold the evidence to substantiate an efficacy claim, they cannot use a testimonial which makes that claim.

Testimonials alone do not constitute substantiation so marketers should not rely on testimonials as support for any direct or implied claims made in the marketing communication. Although it acknowledged that a testimonial which made implied claims that a topically applied gel could have similar effects to surgery might have been a genuinely held opinion, the ASA held it breached the Code because the marketer did not provide objective evidence to show the product was an effective alternative to surgery (Rodial Ltd, 11 January 2012). Customer survey responses which made positive comments about saving money on energy bills were not considered adequate substantiation for savings claims (Bright Networks Ltd t/a Bright Heating, 9 January 2013).

The ASA upheld complaints against a testimonial which described a individual’s theory regarding “hexagonal water” because it considered consumers would interpret the claims as being in relation to a theory based on evidence, particularly because it appeared to be endorsed by a scientist (Water for Health Ltd, 3 July 2013).

Marketers using a testimonial must hold evidence that it is genuine. This requirement has two elements; i.e. that the quote is from a real person and that it reflects what they said.

Contact :Reina Dcosta at reina@bizlawuk.co.uk to find out more.

A case study

An employee at a business had a grievance with the manager. His issues were not taken up seriously and when the time came to terminate his service he easily brought a claim for unfair dismissal. The cards were stacked against the employer who could have followed the Recommended processes and then managed to have a smooth termination instead of having to settle out of tribunal.

For advice on employment law in the UK email reina@bizlawuk.co.uk

 

At-a-glance guide to the marketing rules

At-a-glance guide to the marketing rules
Method of
communication
Individual consumers
(plus sole traders and partnerships)
Business-to-business
(companies and corporate bodies)
Live calls
 Screen against the TPS
 Can opt out
 Screen against the Corporate TPS
 Can opt out
Recorded calls  Need specific consent  Need specific consent
Emails or texts
 Need specific consent
 Or soft opt-in (previous customer, our own
similar product, had a chance to opt out)
 Can email or text corporate bodies
 Good practice to offer opt out
 Individual employees can opt out
Faxes  Need specific consent
 Screen against the Fax Preference Service
(FPS)
 Can opt out
Mail
 Name and address obtained fairly
 Can opt out
 Can mail corporate bodies
 Individual employees can opt out http://ow.ly/pBxii

Contact reina@bizlawuk.co.uk to find out more

 

Prevention is better than cure

Featured

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How many times have business owners thought in these times of recession it would not be prudent to spend on a full time in house lawyer or a law firm charged too much and that there were smart enough to get their own contracts done or settle their disputes? The mistake many make is to not realise when a helping hand and prevention can be better than cure.

Take for instance the client whose over enthusiastic sales person confirms via email or telephone the details of a sale and payment terms for a deal worth £10,000/- and begins delivery of the service before buyer checks are done or terms and conditions signed off by a lawyer . There then arises a dispute and misunderstanding on the terms and the buyer refuses to pay. The business finally decides to write off the debt thinking going to court may be too expensive and risky as there is no proper proof of the agreed deal and realises too late that the buyer (debtor) has actually not provided proper details of the business name and the phone number provided is dead . On later searching the debtor the business is informed it is a company with no assets and thus any legal action with the best of lawyers will be fruitless.

Just keeping a lawyer in the loop on what was going on or setting up routine protocol would have resulted in first checking the credibility and details of the client and ensuring the buyer business could afford the purchase as no sale is a sale until the cash is realised. Next going through the contract deliverables and ensuring clarity in timing, rate and terms and finally ensuring the authorised person had signed would have resulted in a £10,000 richer seller.

Another example can be of the disgruntled employee who may often not have a clear cut contract or may raise a grievance. The employer might ignore the issue hoping it will go away. The employee instead resigns and sues the company . Would it not have been more advisable to involve a lawyer who is familiar with your business and employment rights from the start so that employee contracts are checked to ensure they cover the business, the grievance is addressed and nipped in the bud and the company maintains policies ,resulting in happy employees and subsequent great performance for the company?

The third scenario could be a company hiring some staff who are on student visas and flouting the rules as they have been too busy to check them and want to save costs or have not maintained the required paperwork and this results in a large fine from the Home Office and bad publicity.

If you think your business needs a helping hand get in touch for a free initial consultation or audit on what your business needs are . You will be surprised how easy and cost effective it can be to retain a consultant inhouse legal service provider who forms an extension of your team , is available at quick notice, understands your business needs and provides proactive advice.