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How to find "who" owns a "company".

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ten0rman
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How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157926

Postby ten0rman » August 8th, 2018, 1:52 pm

Hi,

Mods, I'm not sure if this is the correct board. Please move if necessary. Ta.

I'm attempting to find who is in charge of a caravan dealership, so that I write to him/her advising of problems with a brand new caravan - details are elsewhere.

What I have found is that according to the Company Registration Records, the company is Dormant and has been for quite a few years, has a value of £2, and has two directors both in their 70's, both of whom have been involved with this company for quite a few years. One person, the man, is shown as the Company Secretary. The address of the company is shown as the current address of the company which I know is up and running and doing business.

Can someone explain what's going on?

MTIA,

ten0rman

p.s All I'm trying to do at the moment, is to ensure that I'm not going to end up with a duff caravan because it's out of time for warranty work, and writing to the top person I think is probably the easiest way of ensuring that.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157929

Postby PinkDalek » August 8th, 2018, 2:07 pm

Did the invoice include the details for XYZ Limited (perhaps trading as ABC caravans), company registration number and registered office address?

Are those details the same as you've found for the dormant company?

Presumably there's a website. What does this say as to the Limited company involved, if anything?

It may well be the dormant company is there in an attempt to protect the name only (such that no-one else can register the precise same name) but it is an individual or a partnership who are operating outside the corporate veil.

I'm happy to research further, should you wish to provide some detail via the Private Message system here.
Last edited by PinkDalek on August 8th, 2018, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157931

Postby johnhemming » August 8th, 2018, 2:09 pm

I think you probably need to start with certainty as to which legal entity you have a contract with. It could be a limited company. Alternatively it could be someone trading without the protection of limited liability.

It could be, for example, that there is a form of tax fraud going on. However, it is difficult to tell without looking at the contractual documents and finding out who has been paid.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157934

Postby Lootman » August 8th, 2018, 2:19 pm

johnhemming wrote:I think you probably need to start with certainty as to which legal entity you have a contract with. It could be a limited company. Alternatively it could be someone trading without the protection of limited liability.

It could be, for example, that there is a form of tax fraud going on. However, it is difficult to tell without looking at the contractual documents and finding out who has been paid.

I don't think you can assume any kind of tax fiddling merely from the fact that the business is (probably) run in a non-corporate form, i.e. a sole proprietor or partnership. Setting up a company for a small business can be overkill and there is nothing sinister about not doing so.

Presumably the OP knows which individual at that dealership sold him the vehicle, and that that individual is now not being responsive. So the OP wants to go "over his head". But if there is a "top man (or woman)" they may be a purely passive partner and refer the matter back to the individual at the dealership anyway.

Interestingly, I once wanted to do the exact opposite i.e. set up a company without anyone being able to find out that I owned it. It's quite difficult to pull off, and the best option was to set up the company overseas, which I did not want to do.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157982

Postby ten0rman » August 8th, 2018, 5:15 pm

John Hemming,

I have absolutely no doubts about the company concerned - they are a long established, and reasonably large caravan/motorcaravan firm. I was just surprised when I saw what I saw on the "companieshouse.gov.uk" website where there was evidence of documentation going back about 30 years. I looked at some of the available documents and just found a nominal capital (I think) of £2.00, plus the other stuff I mentioned. In contrast, I've looked at other companies and found much more information

Lootman,

Yes, I do indeed know who sold me the caravan. And no, he is not being "non-responsive". In fact I haven't spoken to him.

TBH, I've not been in this situation before when an expensive (to me that is) item has faults on it. All I want to do, since I'm concious that time is marching on, and I'm no expert on this sort of thing, is to make sure that higher management is aware that there are problems which it is their responsibility to fix. I've been told that, for example a "Suppression Kit" is available, this by the manufacturer. However, the dealership service people say that the manufacturer is infamous for taking their time in supplying spare parts, so I'm getting somewhat leary depending how long they take. Essentially, I'm not bothered how long thay take, as long as I have something in writing to show that I have reported the defects well within the warranty period. Not only that, but I'm getting it in the neck from Mrs T because one of the problems which maybe caused by the lack of suppression kit causes lots of beeps which are not liked especially at 0430 am.

So, that's why I want to escalate matters. I have done this before with certain other problems, but in those instances, the chain of command was clearly defined, and the results were very good from my point of view (even though one of them turned out to be something I had done on a computer!).

Going back then to Lootman's reply, I get the impression that what I found could indeed be genuine and correct. Yes?

Regards

ten0rman

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#157999

Postby Slarti » August 8th, 2018, 5:41 pm

ten0rman wrote:John Hemming,

I have absolutely no doubts about the company concerned - they are a long established, and reasonably large caravan/motorcaravan firm. I was just surprised when I saw what I saw on the "companieshouse.gov.uk" website where there was evidence of documentation going back about 30 years. I looked at some of the available documents and just found a nominal capital (I think) of £2.00, plus the other stuff I mentioned. In contrast, I've looked at other companies and found much more information


To expand on what John wrote, I used to be the accountant for a well known and long standing business, over 100 years in existence, but when I worked for them it was X & Y Trading as ABC and a few years earlier it was T & U Trading as ABC. I think that before that it was just ABC. But the thing is, all 3 companies still existed, 2 dormant, 1 active.

It should say on all invoices and letterheads if this is the case.

Also, a caravan dealership would surely have to be VAT registered? You can check VAT registrations with HMRC, I think.

Slarti

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158000

Postby DrBunsenHoneydew » August 8th, 2018, 5:46 pm

A dormant company is one that has been registered with Companies House but was not carrying on any kind of business activity or receiving any form of income at the date the 'dormant accounts' were filed at Companies House. They may have restarted trading through that company but it won't show at CH until the following year's accounts. Or this may be a non-trading subsidiary of another company/partnership etc (this seems most likely perhaps).

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158016

Postby johnhemming » August 8th, 2018, 6:14 pm

In the end it comes down to the question as to which company or people you are contracting with.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158044

Postby AF62 » August 8th, 2018, 7:25 pm

Slarti wrote:Also, a caravan dealership would surely have to be VAT registered? You can check VAT registrations with HMRC, I think.


Pop the VAT number in here and out will come the registered name - http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/?locale=en (at least until next March).

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158253

Postby Clitheroekid » August 9th, 2018, 2:55 pm

ten0rman wrote:I have absolutely no doubts about the company concerned - they are a long established, and reasonably large caravan/motorcaravan firm.

If you could let us know the name of the business we can research it for you without having to come back and ask you further questions.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158626

Postby ten0rman » August 10th, 2018, 7:55 pm

Hi,

I stress, I have absolutely no worries at all about the legality of the company, just bemused as to why it seems dormant.

I'm away on holiday at the moment (back on Monday most likely), hence cannot check the sales documents, but the firm is Dumfries Caravan Centre (DCC). FWIW, the caravan has a sticker on it stating supplied by DCC and the number plate also says DCC.

Many Thanks,

ten0rman

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158637

Postby johnhemming » August 10th, 2018, 8:53 pm

https://www.dumfriescaravans.com/

the website wrote:Dumfries Caravan Centre is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority with Limited Permission to conduct certain credit related activity. We are a credit broker/intermediary and can introduce you to a limited number of lenders who provide funding. We may receive commission or other benefits for introducing you to such lenders. Finance is subject to status, available to applicants aged 18 and over, residing in the UK.


https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDe ... 00MfX26AAF

fca wrote:This is an appointed representative (AR) that is no longer an agent of an authorised firm. Do not start to do 'REGULATED' business with an AR that is no longer registered.


https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDe ... 00MfPFaAAN

The originalname:
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/comp ... ng-history

This is caravan guard ltd
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/comp ... ng-history

This is Robert Oliphant
https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDe ... 00nSN91AAG

so is this:
http://fca-consumer-credit-interim.forc ... cId=431874

I would think your contract is either with Robert Oliphant or Caravan Guard Ltd.

You need to find out which legal entity (company or person) you paid (the invoice would be a good guide)/

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158640

Postby johnhemming » August 10th, 2018, 9:10 pm

I have looked at the dumfies ltd company and it does not look like it has ever traded. I think you are probably dealing with a sole trader (which is not an issue). The website should tell you what the legal entity is, but doesn't.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#158863

Postby Clitheroekid » August 11th, 2018, 10:53 pm

johnhemming wrote:I would think your contract is either with Robert Oliphant or Caravan Guard Ltd

Some good research, but I think we can eliminate Caravan Guard Ltd. They are simply a specialist caravan insurance broker based in Halifax - https://www.caravanguard.co.uk/

It seems clear to me that the contract was with Robert Oliphant, and that he is simply a private individual trading under the name of Dumfries Caravan Centre.

The reason I say this is that on the FCA website, under the Trading / brand names tag he's listed as "Trading" - https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDe ... 00MfX26AAF

He's also listed as a director of Dumfries Caravan Centre Ltd- https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/comp ... 5/officers

Interestingly, his co-director, Agnes Oliphant (presumably his wife) is described by the rather quaint term "Clerkess". One might have thought she'd at least qualify for the rather more prestigious "Directoress"! ;)

However, although this might on the face of it indicate that it was the company you were dealing with it seems very unlikely, as it's listed as dormant, which means it's not traded. Although I suppose it's technically possible that it's just started trading very recently if that were the case the invoice and any other documents issued by them to you would have "Ltd" at the end of the name.

So I'd be 99% sure that Mr Oliphant is the person who owns the business, possibly in partnership with Agnes Oliphant, his partneress.

As has been pointed out, the website fails to comply with the law. The E-Commerce Regulations 2002 require various information to be published on websites such as this, including, in the case of an individual / partnership, the name of the individual / partner(s) as well as the VAT number and an email address. Although such regulations are often dismissed as red tape this case illustrates that they do perform a very useful purpose.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159173

Postby ten0rman » August 13th, 2018, 11:04 am

Hi folks,

I'm back home.

The Purchase Agreement shows the following:

Name of firm: Dumfries Caravan Centre

Vat No. 356 9861 02
O.F.T No. 431874
Proprietor: R B. Oliphant

I also have two till receipts (deposit & final payment0 whch show the same VAT No. and the Net amount and the Tax1 (presumably 20% VAT) amount. Also both the till receipts and the Visa (credit & debit) receipts describe the firm as Dumfries Caravan Centre.

So it seems that "DCC Ltd" doesn't actually exist, and due to my lack of knowledge and along with the non-compliant website, has very nicely thrown me off the scent, so to speak. I wonder then, if "DCC Ltd" has been done purely to prevent anyone pinching the name for other purposes.

Ok, thanks to all, at least now I have a better idea of whom I am dealing with. Which was the whole purpose of this particular query.

Regards,

ten0rman

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159194

Postby Clitheroekid » August 13th, 2018, 12:11 pm

ten0rman wrote:Vat No. 356 9861 02

Yes, as expected, having checked the VAT number it is registered to Mr Oliphant - http://www.vatcheck.eu/

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159297

Postby PinkDalek » August 13th, 2018, 4:32 pm

ten0rman wrote:… So it seems that "DCC Ltd" doesn't actually exist, and due to my lack of knowledge and along with the non-compliant website, has very nicely thrown me off the scent, so to speak. I wonder then, if "DCC Ltd" has been done purely to prevent anyone pinching the name for other purposes. ...


As you've established, the company does exist but appears to be dormant. I did try and cover why it might have been registered, at the start of the thread:

viewtopic.php?p=157929#p157929

Ok, thanks to all, at least now I have a better idea of whom I am dealing with. Which was the whole purpose of this particular query.


I'm glad you now know who you are dealing with and appreciate it must have been difficult to research, whilst you were on the road.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159311

Postby ten0rman » August 13th, 2018, 5:16 pm

PD,

What actually happened was that in addition to the problems mentioned (I think!) on my other thread, whilst we were away, part of the door latch open system, a magnetic system no less, "disappeared" on a 66 mile journey. I assume the part simply dropped off somewhere, but whatever, it meant that we could no longer fasten the door open, and if you think about the hot weather, you'll get some idea of our problems. Then on top of that we were woken up twice at night by the control panel sounding off, and once during early evening which meant that we could tie it down to an empty internal water tank alarm. Trouble is, we don't have an internal water tank! Then to cap it all, the radio switched itself on, and after I switched it off, it then displayed what I eventually discovered was day, date & time. Now we have never used the radio, and certainly not set anything: indeed all we have done is to switch it off when power has been applied.

Which means, that we were right royally p****d off, and hence I started down the road of thinking about escalating the problems - see other thread. And of course, being away from home, internet access was conspicuous by its difficulty of access, if you see what I mean. And that in turn, when I could get internet access, lead to the findings outlined in my OP.

I have to say that given that the manufacturer supplies a suppression kit for the water pump, and that we proved that the water pump switching off caused the dimmable internal lights to flash, it seems to me that the current absence of this kit could be allowing the water pump to produce spikes on the power supply which may well be causing the problems mentioned above.

Now that I know who is what, I'm going to have a word with the salesman to see what he can do, pressure wise, and keep a letter to Oliphant as backup.

Believe me, PD, I'm very grateful for all the advice herein. The workings of companies, of any shape or form, is something totally outside my experience. And as I said, I've no reason to believe that DCC is anything but reputable. My problem is that over the years, through ignorance I've been lead up the garden path a number of times, all at my expense. I've also discovered that the best way to get things moving appears to be to go straight to the top, especially when I've hit a brick wall. I should point out that I'm only talking about a a small number of occasions in the past, maybe 10 or 12, and that's a guess, but it has soured me somewhat to when I come to having to get companies to correct problems. Hence my queries on this forum.

Incidently, those problems mentioned above, also lead me in the past into the realms of DIY, and when I mean DIY, quite literally I have attempted anything and everything that came my way with varying amounts of success, but being now in my mid-70's, DIY is perforce having to take something of a backseat.

Regards,

ten0rman

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159313

Postby johnhemming » August 13th, 2018, 5:18 pm

You can find his consumer credit registration here. The description as an OFT registration is I think a couple of year out of date.
http://fca-consumer-credit-interim.forc ... rchPageNew

In this case DCC appears to be a sole trader rather than a company. I am personally happy to deal with sole traders, however.

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Re: How to find "who" owns a "company".

#159317

Postby PinkDalek » August 13th, 2018, 5:33 pm

ten0rman wrote:… What actually happened was that in addition to the problems mentioned (I think!) on my other thread, whilst we were away, ...


Yes, I'd read your other thread with interest and fully understand why you started this one.

Here it is for ease viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13009&p=157892#top


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