Does it matter if I am dealing with an Individual, a Partnership or a Limited Company?

Generally it does not matter whilst everything is fine, such as goods and services being ordered, delivered, being fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.  But what if something goes wrong?  Who do you go back to, to resolve a problem?

Firstly contact the shop or website of the Trader. Produce the invoice, delivery note or receipt, and try to sort out the problem, to come to a satisfactory conclusion.

But if you cannot, who do you approach?

If the trader is an Individual or Partnership then you will deal with owners of the business.  But what if it is a Limited Company?  A Limited Company is a separate legal person under the law, owned by shareholders who are hidden behind the corporate veil and you will deal with representatives of the Limited Company, not necessarily the shareholders.

 If a Sole trader or Partnership has ceased trading, the Individual or Partners will remain liable.  But personal bankruptcy will make court action pointless and recovery of anything difficult (unless they have assets or insurance). A Bankruptcy search can be made online at the Individual Insolvency Register. 

If a Limited Company becomes insolvent and ceases to trade, an Administrator or Liquidator may be appointed to run the company, to consider a rescue or sale as a going concern or to wind it up.  The Administrator or Liquidator will consider any claim but any recovery will be difficult (unless there are assets or insurance). Information can be obtained on line at Companies House.

If a Trader has ceased trading, and you paid by Credit (card) (ie deposit or payment between £100 and £30, 000), then the credit (card) company may be equally liable, and a good alternative.

If you have any queries on this or any other matter please contact Oldham Marsh Page Flavell Solicitors on 01664 563162 or

Oldham Marsh Page Flavell are Solicitors in Melton Mowbray.

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