For this article, we look at a problem we experience regularly here at The Sheriffs Office.
Often, a claimant seeking a county court judgment does not use the correct legal entity on the application. For instance, they might not realise that the company has a legal name registered with Companies House that is different to the trading name.
If in doubt, check the legal name of the company, along with the correct registered address on Companies House.
Companies are also legally obliged to ensure their registered company name, number and address appears on business documents and their company website, so you can cross check this on Companies House.
You must make sure to include both the trading address and the registered address (usually the address for service and for issuing a claim). It is worth noting that these two addresses are not always the same.
If your application is against a sole trader, then you’ll need to ensure you include both the business trading name, as well as the name of the individual. This will mean that if the business doesn’t have assets you can have the option of enforcement against the individual and any assets they hold personally.
If the company is a limited company trading as, then ensure you use both the company name as well as the trading as name.
If your application names a partnership, then you should include all the names of the partners and follow this with (partnership).
Why it is important
Using the wrong name often results in the creditor obtaining judgment by default, as, from the experience we have here at The Sheriffs Office, businesses rarely respond to claims with the incorrect entity on.
Debtors generally only acknowledge the judgment when they receive the notification of enforcement that is sent out to debtors giving them seven days to pay in full to prevent an enforcement visit. Once they receive the notification of enforcement, they will apply to have the judgment set aside if the details are incorrect and this application is usually successful when the evidence shows that the incorrect name was used when the judgment was applied for.
This then means the creditor must re-apply for a CCJ with the correct entity named on the application causing a delay to the enforcement process.