OFT issues guidance on misleading trading names

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Joined: 05/11/2010

The OFT has today issued guidance on misleading or otherwise undesirable trading names to businesses offering credit services or products.

Among other practices, the guidance is designed to stop businesses from misleading consumers about their commercial status by using names such as 'Helpline'or 'Debtline', or any name that implies a business is a charity or public service such as 'Citizens Advice Bureau' or 'Government'.

As a general principle of fair business practice, names used by a commercial enterprise should never seek to mislead consumers looking for free, impartial, charitable or public sector assistance.

Similarly, a trading name should not give a misleading or otherwise undesirable indication of:

  • the services to be provided
  • the cost of the products on offer
  • the scale of the business, including its geographical scope
  • the relationship of the business to other businesses.

More: www.oft.gov.uk