Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards department is warning local businesses not to respond to a mailshot that could result in a bill of almost £2,400 over a period of three years.
Businesses are being advised to ignore a letter from a firm with a German address headed “Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal 2014”.
The letter claims that due to a change to the “EU Economic Package”, which requires all companies to provide their VAT registration number on various documents since 2010, the “UK Corporate Portal” is also required to update companies’ business data as a “basic entry”.
The letter also includes a form for businesses to check and sign to say their details are correct if they wish their entry to be a “non-basic entry”. However the small print indicates that a cost of £797 a year will be incurred by the business, for a minimum of three years.
Robin Wood, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards’ team leader, said: “We are concerned that local businesses may believe the letter to be from an official source, which is not the case. If businesses sign and return the form to confirm their details are correct they could end up tied in to the high costs of an entry in this publication.
“Businesses should be aware that they are not obliged to provide any information to the company and entries do not have to appear on the website referred to in the letter.”
If you want to report a scam you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06