You need to be clear at the outset about the correct ‘legal personality’ of the potential defendant. Who did you contract with? It is important to be clear about the legal status of the potential defendant. This can be:

Private Individuals: The defendant may be a private individual. A sole trader may be sued in his/her own name, followed by ‘trading as’ the firm name, e.g. Fred Bloggs t/a Fred Bloggs & Co.

New procedures for businesses wishing to recover a debt from a sole-trader or individual were introduced in October 2017. You can read more about this here.

Partnerships: Partnerships are not legal persons. However, they may sue or be sued in the name of their firm. The Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000 creates a new form of legal entity, ‘the limited liability partnership’ distinct from their members.

Companies and other corporate bodies: Corporations and companies are legal ‘persons’ and therefore can sue or be sued in their own public names. Public companies with large share capital have ‘public Limited company’ or ‘plc’ after their names. Other companies normally have Limited’ or ‘Ltd’ after their names. This means that the companies’ liability is limited. Companies can trade under names other than their own, e.g. Fred Bloggs Ltd could trade as Fred Bloggs Group.

If you have a problem with a debt, no matter what the size, or need help with recovering a series of debts that are owed to you, please do get in touch with the TSP Debt Recovery team here.