Free, impartial legal guidance for businesses
Business in focus
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 apply to just one or two of the countries, while others extend to all three GB countries or the whole of the UK.
For guidance on the law in Northern Ireland, please see nibusinessinfo.co.uk
If you are a consumer in England or Wales, please contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 2231133. In Scotland, contact Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000. Both provide free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.
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.
New In-depth Guides
Next phase of the ban on single-use plastics
Since 1 October, single-use plastic plates, bowls and trays, cutlery and balloon sticks, and XPS / EPS polystyrene food or drink containers and cups have been banned in England, along with other products that were banned previously (subject to certain exemptions). Scotland has also banned certain single-use plastic products and Wales's first piece of legislation on the subject will come into force on 30 October. More >
Guidance for Scotland on food labelling etc
Traditionally, food labelling laws have not been enforced by the Trading Standards service in Scotland, but rather by Environmental Health. For this reason, Business Companion has not featured Scottish versions of our guidance in this area. However, in order to provide more comprehensive guidance we have now started to publish In-depth Guides on food for Scotland. More >
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