Have you made your New Year's Resolutions? WJM's Corporate Department have a few suggestions for "corporate" resolutions which you might want to add to your list.
"I will file my annual accounts on time"
The best reason for keeping to this resolution is financial: Companies House will now fine you £100 if your accounts are submitted past the deadline. So watch out for the reminder notice from Companies House and put the deadline in your diary. If you have incorporated dormant companies, for example to protect names, then provided that the accounts are short-form and require no auditing, we can take care of the preparation and filing of these on your behalf. "I will get the correct details on my company stationery" There are a set of rules on what should appear on a company's stationery.
For invoices and letterhead and any other document on which you might want to rely in court, the following details should appear:
You do not have to give the names of the directors, but, if you decide to, all of the directors must be listed. There are also a couple of special cases. Investment companies should specifically state that they are an investment company and, where a limited company is exempt from using the word "limited" in its name, it should state the fact that it is actually a limited company.
"I will have standard terms of business prepared"
Having comprehensive (and intelligible!) standard terms of business makes good commercial sense: your business gets the benefit of a detailed contract for all transactions with customers, without having the cost and "hassle" which individual negotiation of terms would involve. Standard terms also promote certainty: the terms of the contract are easily located and identified, and your customers will come to know their rights and obligations.
"I will use them!"
Many businesses, having gone to the time and expense of having standard terms prepared, find their terms are wholly useless, simply because they are not effectively incorporated into their customer contracts. Only when a dispute arises with a customer, does the business discover that, inadvertently, they are bound by their customers' standard terms. While the legal rules that govern the formation of contracts do not sit easily with usual business practices, if you take care to adopt proper contract formation procedures, it can maximise the chances of ensuring that your terms will prevail should any dispute arise.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.