Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses

Getting Started

The basics

Unsure of the law on trading standards or whether the rules apply to you? Find out how the law sees businesses that sell to consumers 

Get Started
Quick Guide

Concise guidance

Want answers right now? Quick Guides are arranged by what, where and how you sell to help you find the information you need

Quick Guides
In-Depth Guide

Detailed information

Know what you're looking for, or want to browse a list of specific guidance arranged by category? In-depth Guides deliver the detail

In-Depth Guides

Business in focus

Alternative dispute resolution

A guide to the Alternative Dispute Resolution regulations

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Car traders and consumer law

Guidance for dealerships

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Care homes: communications

How to present information about your services

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Care homes: complaints

Dealing with complaints in the care homes sector

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Care homes: fair trading

A guide for care home owners and registered managers

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Care homes: web layout

A guide to providing information about your home online

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Practical holiday law

A guide to practical holiday law

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Selling goods via online platforms

A guide to selling goods online via auction sites and marketplaces

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Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus: charging for single-use carrier bags
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a temporary exemption has been introduced in England and Scotland from the requirement to charge for single-use carrier bags. More >

Coronavirus and Energy Performance Certificates
The Government has published advice on meeting the regulatory requirement to secure a valid Energy Performance Certificate on marketing a property during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. More >

Animal welfare during the coronavirus outbreak
The Government has published advice for livestock keepers and pet owners on taking care of their animals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. More >

Government guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The Government has published guidance for businesses and workers on how to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRT). More >

Government launches coronavirus business support
Businesses will be able to access Government support to keep operating in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by coronavirus. More >

Government guidance on the coronavirus situation
As the number of UK cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection escalates, the Government has produced guidance ... More >


Business Companion provides information for businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation

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

The guidance is divided up into 15 broad Quick Guides and each one contains a number of more detailed In-depth Guides.

There may be rules you are not aware of, so make sure you explore the site thoroughly.

If you don't know where to begin, or you're a new business, click Get Started above.

Recently published guidance

New Business in Focus guidance       New In-depth Guides
Car traders and consumer law       Alcoholic beverages, spirits and food
Care homes: complaints       Candles, diffusers, oil heaters, etc
Practical holiday law   Novel foods (including CBD and hemp)
        Refill shops
      Plastic cotton buds

Latest news

Leaving the European Union
The UK has now left the European Union and we are in a transition period while the Government and the EU negotiate. The transition period lasts until the end of 2020 and existing laws continue to apply during it. More >

Information on changes to Business Companion In-depth Guides
In 2020 we will be introducing a new section to the In-depth Guides, which will briefly explain what changes have been made in the most recent update. More >