Legal Article - Business Law

Administration Requirements in the Motor Retail Industry

In every business there is an element of Administration that needs to be done in order to get the Company up and running. Once that is done it is usually put to one side and not thought of again until a problem arises.

Unfortunately if that problem does arise then it is too late and the company may already be liable for prosecution.


Sole Trading and Partnerships

Sole Trading and Partnerships

Any sole trader or partnership using a trade name must have on all their documentation, particularly business Order Forms, Invoices, Letter Headings and other business stationery, the names of the Proprietor and, in the case of a partnership, each partner.

In addition there must be an address in the UK for each person where legal documents may be served. This address can be the office premises and does NOT have to be a private home address.

The same information must be on a notice or sign prominently displayed on part of the premises to which the public have access and where transactions are made. Displaying your Consumer Credit Licence will generally meet this requirement.

Limited Companies

Limited Companies

Where the business is a Company then the provisions are slightly different in that company documents must bear the Company name, Place and Registration No. of the Company together with the Registered office address.

There is also a requirement that the Trade Name and Registered Office must be displayed outside the premises. Individual Directors names are not required, however, if one name is disclosed then all must be disclosed. 

If in addition to the information required and detailed above, you wish to use a trade name on any stationery, documentation, advertisement, promotional material or displayed within the premises then that trade name must also appear on your Consumer Credit Licence.

If you have not asked for and had approved the trade name you want to use then its use may lead to a prosecution for unlicensed trading and additionally result in all your deals being classed as unenforceable agreements.
If in doubt Lawgistics can assist you if you need help.

It is important that all your company documents are reviewed to ensure that they comply with the Unfair Contract Terms Regulations and does not contain any hidden clauses or small print that will render all company documents illegal and leave you vulnerable for an injunction or an enquiry by the Office of Fair Trading.

Advice on Changing the Trading Name of an MOT Centre

Advice on Changing the Trading Name of an MOT Centre

If you have an MOT centre, are a sole proprietor or partnership and you wish to change it to a limited company then there are a number of hoops that you have to jump through to satisfy VOSA.

One such hoop is having the existing lease being put in the name of the new company.

When the existing lease owners are also the Directors of the new company thus can be effectively and cheaply achieved by the creation of a licence rather than a lease.

A licence to occupy land can be created to provide a legal confrontational document meeting the requirements of VOSA without the need for a formal and usually expensive lease.

Sunday Trading

Sunday Trading

Sunday Trading in all areas of our life is now becoming very common. The Sunday Trading Act 1994 has strict regulations surrounding this area.

If you decide you want to open on Sunday then you are either classified as a 'large shop' and therefore caught by the Sunday Trading Legislation, or, if not classified as such, you are outside of the Sunday Trading Legislation and the rules do not apply to you.
A large shop is defined as a premises having a sales floor area inside a building exceeding 280sqm. To work it out you do not include forecourt or workshops but MUST include Service and/or Parts reception.

If your premises fall within the definition then you must give notice to the local authority that you intend to open for retail customers for a continuous period of six hours or such other shorter period and the hours for which you will be open between 10am and 6pm.

After 14 days from the date of the notice, or shorter if the authority agree, you may begin trading.

Please note that should Christmas Day fall on a Sunday and also on Easter Sunday you are not allowed to open.

One further requirement is to display your opening times conspicuously both inside and outside the premises. After closing time, customers already on the premises have 30 minutes to complete their purchase and leave.



From Consumer to Commercial

From Consumer to Commercial

When a hobby takes on a direct commercial involvement then it ceases to be a hobby and becomes a business. Changing your car on a regular basis may be merely a hobby but as a rule of thumb if you change it more than six times in a year you will be considered a motor dealer and it will be for you to show that you are not.

Secondary Business

Secondary Business

In some businesses, such as vehicle hire, the running of a small vehicle fleet is central to that business. Naturally the fleet requires regular upgrading and the disposal of the vehicles becomes ancillary to the primary function of the vehicle hire.

The courts have decided that such disposal, although ancillary, is a separate trade or business and therefore within the scope of the legislation.

Author: David Combes

Published: 16 Mar 2011

Edited: 26 May 2016


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