Business Companion provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation
Consumer Rights Act 2015
A major change to consumer law will take place on 1 October 2015. The new Consumer Rights Act will particularly affect the sale and supply of goods, services and digital content, as well as the rules on unfair contract terms.
The Business Companion guidance on the Act is split into a number of In-depth Guides:
We have worked with online training provider Virtual College to develop a short, interactive, e-learning course to help businesses understand the implications of the Act. The course can be found on the Virtual College website.
The site delivers guidance by default for England, but if you are trading in Scotland or Wales, you should choose your location using the drop-down list at the top of the page. This is because some laws are different, or are differently enforced, in those countries
Trading standards and consumer protection laws look at three broad factors:
What and where you sell or trade
For example, a plumber supplies goods and services off-premises. A licensed corner shop sells age-restricted products on-premises. An accountant may supply services that are sold online.
How you treat your customers
All consumer-facing businesses must comply with rules on unfair trading, pricing and contracts, including when you must give a refund, or offer a repair or replacement.
Specific business activities
Trading standards legislation also covers topics such as product safety, food composition and hygiene, animal welfare and feedingstuffs as well as certain aspects of running your business.
There may be rules you are not aware of, so make sure you explore the site thoroughly. You'll find signpost links in each guide, highlighting important topics or related items that you may need to know about.
If you don't know where to begin, or you're a new business, click 'Get started' above.