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New TSI Business Companion website (Click to zoom)
New TSI Business Companion website
Did you know? The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills recently launched a new website offering free, impartial legal guidance for businesses that sell goods and/or supply services to consumers.

The new Business Companion website is an online tool designed to help agents and business owners untangle what is sometimes a complicated and confusing world of trading standards and consumer protection legislation.

The website is broken down into three key sections covering:

The basics: Unsure of the law on trading standards or whether the rules apply to you? Find out how the law sees businesses that sell to consumers
Concise guidance: Want answers right now? Quick Guides are arranged by what, where and how you sell to help you find the information you need
Detailed information: Know what you’re looking for, or want to browse a list of specific guidance arranged by category? In-depth Guides deliver the detail

The guides are tailored to not only cover what you sell but where you sell and how you sell, in a user-friendly and informative style.

Featured example: ‘Estate agents – property descriptions’
The new Business Companion website includes a vast range of guidance, including a guide for property agents on applying descriptions to a property.

The guidance covers the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (known as the CPRs) which control descriptions used by estate agents and letting agents. They create criminal offences for traders that breach them. The Regulations prohibit 'misleading actions' and 'misleading omissions' that cause, or are likely to cause, the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise.

The Business Companion guidance covers general descriptions relating to location, environment, photographs, measurements, parking and pricing. Plus general disclaimers in small print, telling buyers not to rely on details, won't be effective in preventing offences.

Quick link - to view the guide, please click here.

Next steps:
Register with Business Companion to receive the latest guides and updates, and create collections to read later
• All of the guides are available to download and print – have a look at the website and make sure your branch staff can access the latest guidance affecting their work.
• Need more information? Read through the website’s FAQ

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