Use of your companies’ names

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Many people have registered limited liability companies, yet operate under separate trading names.

It is prudent to ensure that your business cards and every written communication used or sent by, or on behalf of, any of your businesses have the relevant company’s proper legal name on them.

If you do not do this then your company and you personally as directors risk being convicted of an offence under the Companies Act 1993 and fined $5,000 each.

Also, anyone dealing with you will not have proper notice of the company’s identity and existence and may presume that they are dealing with you personally.

In that case, if your company decided to take any court action against any person, that person could successfully resist the action on the basis that they had no notice that they were dealing with a company.  Similarly, that person could elect to take court proceedings against you personally, rather than against the company, on the same basis.

In essence, you risk losing the benefit of the company’s separate legal personality unless you ensure that the people or entities the company is dealing with know they are dealing with a registered company.

You should add your relevant company’s legal name to your business cards and any other correspondence or documentation used by your companies.

You can still use a different trading name, but only in addition to the relevant company name.  You could put the relevant company name in smaller font at the top of your correspondence/documents and add the words “trading as XYZ”.

Your trading name can still be the most prominent words.

 

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