There are several pieces of legislation that protect people from the activities of unscrupulous or dishonest traders.
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
If you sell goods or services to consumers, you must comply with the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. These regulations ban traders from using any unfair commercial practices which mislead customers into buying goods or services they might not otherwise have bought. Commercial practices are any actions you take - or omissions you make - that are directly connected to supplying goods and services to members of the public.
Commercial practices include providing information about prices. The regulations specifically ban traders from:
- misleading consumers about an item's price, or the way in which the price is worked out
- misleading consumers by claiming a price advantage that doesn't exist - for example making a false claim that your products are cheaper than a competitor's
- leaving out details of extra hidden costs - such as taxes, delivery or postal charges
You'll also need to comply with other legislation that covers pricing practices, including the:
- Consumer Rights Act 2015
- Consumer Credit Act 1974
- Price Marking Order (Northern Ireland) 2004
There are specific regulations covering pricing information provided by certain types of business.
There are also rules governing misleading advertisements.
Business to business
If your customers are other businesses, you'll need to comply with the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008. These regulations cover:
- misleading pricing information
- when a business can use advertising that identifies a competitor or their products and services
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- What you need to do about health and safety
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services