Board of Trade, Insurance and Companies Department, 1941-1970
1292 files and volumes
Administrative / biographical background:
The Registry of Business Names (RBN) was created under the Registration of Business Names Act 1916. It was originally intended as a record of enemy aliens or former aliens who were not trading under their own names, but later served as a register of persons or firms trading under a business name other than their own. Persons or bodies trading in their own names were not required to register. Under the Companies Act 1947 the register was extended to cover limited companies trading under a different business name.
The main particulars registered were the business name, general nature of the business and principal place of business, as well as details of names and nationality of owners, partners etc. The Companies Act 1947 repealed the regulations regarding the disclosure of nationality and amended the regulations regarding the disclosure of former names. The register was never comprehensive. It has been estimated that only 50-60% of those required to register did so, and that many cessations and changes of ownership were never registered.
Following a review of the registration of companies and business names in 1980-81, the Companies (No. 2) Act 1981 repealed the act of 1916 and the relevant sections of the Companies Act 1947. The registry was then closed on 26 February 1982.
This series consists of registration documents of businesses that originally registered in the sample years of 1917, 1921, 1931, 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1982.
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