When you’re after a new batch of letterheads, it’s easy to get caught up in choosing a quality paper stock that will complement the feel of your business letter or creating a stylish design that’s sure to wow recipients. What people don’t always realise is that you also need to follow certain legal requirements in order to send your letter in the first place.
First thing’s first, don’t panic! These requirements vary depending on the type of company you run, they’re all fairly straightforward and can easily be condensed into a quick list that you can refer to whilst designing.
Here’s what information must legally be on all company letterheads according the The Companies Act:
- Your business’s name
- Where in the UK your business is registered
- Your registered company number
- The address of your registered office
Some businesses will need extra information. Here’s a brief summary of everything you need.
As a sole trader you have to include:
- Your business name
- Your own name (if your business's name is different from your own name)
- Your business address
- Your VAT number
If you trade as a limited company, your letterhead must include:
- Your fully registered company name (ending in the word Limited or Ltd)
- Your company registration number plus the place of registration (e.g. England)
- Your company registered address (this has to be clearly identified as the registered office/place of business)
- The address of your company’s place of business (if this is different from the registered address)
- Your VAT number
- Though you don’t have to include the names of directors, if you choose to, you must list all directors, leaving no one out
A charitable company whose company name doesn’t include the words ‘charity’ or ‘charitable’ must state the fact that it’s a charity.
If you’re a partnership business, your letterheads must include:
- All the same requirements as those listed under ‘Sole Trader’, plus…
- The names of all partners
- The address of the main office
- If there are too many partners to name, you can state where a full list of partners can be found
Now we’re past the legalities, let’s talk about the more general details that people tend to include on letterheads designs. These are usually the details that your recipient will need if they want to get in touch with you. They include:
- Telephone and fax number
- Website URL
- Email address
- The correspondence address (if this is different from the registered address)
- The nature of the business, if this isn’t obvious from the name
- The VAT number (which is a legal requirement for invoices)
- Logo (which helps recipients to identify you if they want to look you up)
- Social details such as your Facebook name or Twitter handle
So now you’re up to scratch with the legal matters, letterheads provide you with a great opportunity to strengthen your branding and to show your audience that you’re both meticulous and a pro! Use them, mail them, show them off!