Branding Free (split from 'Version number?')

erich37

Well-known member
The copyright/branding is the ~whole~ line.
So I will buy the branding-free-licence in order to get rid of the word "Ltd."

Probably a bit costly for being allowed to remove 3 letters ?

Anyway, many thanks for clarification.
 

Waddy

Active member
No, it really has nothing to do with that. It's as both erich and I have explained.
There is no other country in Europe (that I know of) where you can start a limited liability company for only a couple hundred Euros. It has become the modus operandi of many scammers, criminals and other such individuals and organizations to form a Ltd. company in the UK and operate from there. I realize that people IN the UK don't hear much about that, because it's not an issue over there.
However, I'm sure there is information about that in English somewhere.

To clarify the issue a little more, let me give you an example.
A German man forms a company, ABC Ltd, in England. His business is "a lottery" of some kind. So the guy makes a website with a nice "about us" page. The company name is ABC Ltd, the address is some suite in an office building somewhere in London. In truth it is only a forwarding address or something of the kind.
So guy starts writing letters to thousands of residents in Germany and tells them in those letters that they have won €10000. All they need to do is call this number: 0900-XXXXXX (0900 numbers are premium numbers in Germany and can cost up to several Euros per minute).
Some people actually do call that number. They spend maybe 5, maybe 10, maybe 30 minutes on the phone.
Nothing comes of it. Then, the next month they receive a very high phone bill. They decide that they probably were scammed. So, what do they do?
They could, for example, sue the company for the €10000 that they are supposed to have won.
Now, the guy who formed ABC Ltd notices that he is getting a lot of angry letters and some legal heat. What does he do?
Nothing, that's what. The only address that he has in England is not a physical address of residence or place of business. It's just a forwarding address.

The victims figure out that they were scammed. They could fly to England, hire a lawyer and sue the company. However, the company was formed with (for example) 100 GBP of capital and is only liable up to that amount. Plus, the laws in the UK and Germany are very different in many aspects and that is just the beginning of it. Jurisdiction is an issue as well.
So the victims figure: with hardly any chance of success, it's not worth it. They don't sue. They pay their phone company the money that they now owe them. The scammer ABC Ltd. get their share that the phone company owes them. The criminal is home free.
Now, if he makes sure that his scam doesn't get too big (more attention, more chance of trouble), he can do this many times under many different company names.
You can't do this with any other legal form easily accessible to Europeans. Maybe there are some countries in Asia or Eastern Europe where you could do something similar. But there is the language barrier. Everyone speaks English (more or less) in the business world. But doing something like this in Latvia or Romania might be a lot more difficult. And it is more expensive too.

Now - those things are not an issue in the UK, Ireland, Australia or anywhere else that have the legal form Ltd. Because all the hurdles I just described do not exist for them. That is why a Ltd company is no problem there.

@Kier - regarding the Jelsoft Ltd not being an issue in the footer: I doubt that XenForo Ltd. in the footer will be an issue. The few of us who it may be an issue for, will probably just buy the branding free option.

Companies of a certain size may have trouble/misgivings about having a "Ltd." in their footer. But that really isn't something that XenForo Ltd can do anything about. I mean, vBulletin Germany had Jelsoft Ltd in the footer too. Doesn't look like it's done much harm to their business either.

So in closing: yes, Ltd companies do raise suspicions in several European countries. But no, that does not mean that having "XenForo Ltd" in the footer is going to cause problems of more than trivial proportions. For the few of us who will have a problem with that, we will have to buy the branding free option.

People in the UK get these scams as well, nearly always from a foreign country, I think Spain is quite popular for some reason, the scammers just want to be in a different country from where they are committing the scam as it makes it harder for the authorities to catch up with them. I certainly don't believe this is a problem specifically with UK companies and it's certainly the first time I've seen such allegations targeted just at UK companies.
 

Been Told

Well-known member
People in the UK get these scams as well, nearly always from a foreign country, I think Spain is quite popular for some reason, the scammers just want to be in a different country from where they are committing the scam as it makes it harder for the authorities to catch up with them.  I certainly don't believe this is a problem specifically with UK companies and it's certainly the first time
 I've seen such allegations targeted just at UK companies.
Nobody is accusing UK companies and I really don't understand how anyone would think that.
And this is not something that Erich or I made up. And it's not something our treasury department made up. If you have never heard of it you should inform yourself before forming an opinion.
As for scams from Spain... The problem is different. Obviously British scammers are not going to register their scam company in their own country. But it doesn't have much to do with Spain or the Spanish company law. Do you frequently see companies with a Spanish legal form operating in the UK? I know I didn't when I was living there.
This problem with scamming Ltds only turned up fairly recently, after the EU changed some laws which made the sort of thing described a lot easier.
And the lottery thing was used as an example. There are many more ways in witch the legal form Ltd is abused in Europe. I just chose the lottery thing because I know that a lot of scammers in the UK use that as a way to scam people.

You know how "off shore hosting" is advertised in certain communities? The legal form Ltd has roughly the same kind of reputation.
And NO it's not caused by or meant to imply anything negative about the British. These are people from our own countries exploiting a loop hole.
Ashley made it clear that there is no room for compromise on this and we've all accepted it (I believe). But if you're going to drag up a thread to post your opinion, please inform yourself first.
Erich and I have made several attempts to explain this issue in detail.
If nobody wants to inform themselves, we can't force you. But this is getting tedious.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
Nobody is accusing UK companies and I really don't understand how anyone would think that.
And this is not something that Erich or I made up. And it's not something our treasury department made up. If you have never heard of it you should inform yourself before forming an opinion.
As for scams from Spain... The problem is different. Obviously British scammers are not going to register their scam company in their own country. But it doesn't have much to do with Spain or the Spanish company law. Do you frequently see companies with a Spanish legal form operating in the UK? I know I didn't when I was living there.
This problem with scamming Ltds only turned up fairly recently, after the EU changed some laws which made the sort of thing described a lot easier.
And the lottery thing was used as an example. There are many more ways in witch the legal form Ltd is abused in Europe. I just chose the lottery thing because I know that a lot of scammers in the UK use that as a way to scam people.

You know how "off shore hosting" is advertised in certain communities? The legal form Ltd has roughly the same kind of reputation.
And NO it's not caused by or meant to imply anything negative about the British. These are people from our own countries exploiting a loop hole.
Ashley made it clear that there is no room for compromise on this and we've all accepted it (I believe). But if you're going to drag up a thread to post your opinion, please inform yourself first.
Erich and I have made several attempts to explain this issue in detail.
If nobody wants to inform themselves, we can't force you. But this is getting tedious.
I think it was more with how it was originally brought up, as it seemed pretty biased.

The thing is, as the forum grows, and it becomes adopted by more people the name XenForo will easily speak for itself, just as vBulletin speaks for itself currently. If its an issue to start, there isn't much they can do. 
 

Been Told

Well-known member
Well you can only form these Ltd companies without capital in the UK (within Europe). So obviously these European scammers will form/register those Ltd. companies in the UK. There is no other way of doing it. They don't have a physical presense or office in the UK, as I explained in the post you quoted.
 

Waddy

Active member
Well you can only form these Ltd companies without capital in the UK (within Europe). So obviously these European scammers will form/register those Ltd. companies in the UK. There is no other way of doing it. They don't have a physical presense or office in the UK, as I explained in the post you quoted.
You don't need any capital to start a French SARL, so there does seem to be another way of doing it.
 

Been Told

Well-known member
You don't need any capital to start a French SARL, so there does seem to be another way of doing it.
For whatever reason though, it is the Ltd legal form that is being used. Maybe it's because English is more widely spoken, maybe it is because it is less bureaucratic or something along the lines.
 

Elizabeth

Well-known member
For whatever reason though, it is the Ltd legal form that is being used. Maybe it's because English is more widely spoken, maybe it is because it is less bureaucratic or something along the lines.
If that were the case, you would think they would use LLC instead. They are a dime a dozen. Yet we don't have the same stigma you seem to be attaching to the Ltd. Liz
 

Been Told

Well-known member
If that were the case, you would think they would use LLC instead. They are a dime a dozen. Yet we don't have the same stigma you seem to be attaching to the Ltd. Liz
Edit:
From what I can see online LLC is not an actual legal form in Britain. Instead it is a heading applied to limited liability company legal forms. Such as Ltd and Plc. Source.
 

EQnoble

Well-known member
Isn't LLC an American legal form? Quite apart from the fact that a LLC (at least in the US) is a legal form that requires more than one person. A Ltd can be formed by one person alone. Maybe someone who knows British company law well can enlighten us.
That is not true.... A friend of mine not last week started a roofing business under LLC. It was easy cost 150 - 300 to file and he only needed a small insurance policy. He is not a criminal or a defrauder. Just when you don't have 100 employees you don't really need a business structure to cover that. All extra becomes wasted overhead. I'm not scared to buy xenForo even if it ended with HAHAHA as their work speaks for itself, anyone could come to this parent site and see that this would have to be the most elaborate hoax ever it is was. It is a shame though in your country that those schemes are that big, I don't know anyone here that can't tell the difference between an official and a spam fraud communication. Maybe the way they make it look over there is convincing but over here it rarely flies. I think It's up to the consumers to start advocating investigation rather than having someone tell them yeah this ones OK.
 

Elizabeth

Well-known member
Maybe it's because English is more widely spoken, maybe it is because it is less bureaucratic or something along the lines
LLC's are US. But this was part of your statement. And with almost NO bureaucracy to deal with and obtaining one is dirt cheap depending on which state. And we do speak English. Maybe US English but it is English.  

That's the point I was making. Liz 
 
 

Elizabeth

Well-known member
That is not true.... A friend of mine not last week started a roofing business under LLC. It was easy cost 150 - 300 to file and he only needed a small insurance policy. He is not a criminal or a defrauder. Just when you don't have 100 employees you don't really need a business structure to cover that. All extra becomes wasted overhead. I'm not scared to buy xenForo even if it ended with HAHAHA as their work speaks for itself, anyone could come to this parent site and see that this would have to be the most elaborate hoax ever it is was. It is a shame though in your country that those schemes are that big, I don't know anyone here that can't tell the difference between an official and a spam fraud communication. Maybe the way they make it look over there is convincing but over here it rarely flies. I think It's up to the consumers to start advocating investigation rather than having someone tell them yeah this ones OK.
I'm an LLC, I'm the only person in my company, cost $150 to form my LLC and no insurance policy to buy. Liz
 

Been Told

Well-known member
That is not true.... A friend of mine not last week started a roofing business under LLC. It was easy cost 150 - 300 to file and he only needed a small insurance policy. He is not a criminal or a defrauder.
How many more times am I going to have to say this? NOBODY said that people who form Ltd companies are criminals! Let alone LLC.
I'm not scared to buy xenForo even if it ended with HAHAHA as their work speaks for itself, anyone could come to this parent site and see that this would have to be the most elaborate hoax ever it is was.
This is not about fraud or allegations of fraud. The point that was initially brought up is that "Ltd" is a mistrusted legal form in some European countries. Obviously nobody here thinks that XenForo is run by criminals or anything stupid like that. The point that was being made is that when someone from one of the European countries who knows about these things sees a "Ltd", there is instantly a negative connotation. Nothing more.

For me personally, I couldn't care less. If any of my clients feel weird about a Ltd in their footer, I will advise them to buy branding free. For my own projects, I have no problem with Ltd being in the footer. I didn't have the problem with Jelsoft, so why would I now?
But some people obviously are worried about that.
It would have been nice for those people if they were able to put XenForo isntead of XenForo Ltd. For two reasons:
1. They wouldn't have to buy branding-free.
2. XenForo wouldn't loose that footer link as a means of promoting their product.

But these are the decisions that Mike, Kier and Ashley have to make and have made, so there really is no point in dragging this thread on and on with discussions spiraling ever more widely away from the actual subject of this discussion.
It is a shame though in your country that those schemes are that big, I don't know anyone here that can't tell the difference between an official and a spam fraud communication.
Then you must only know very computer savvy people. Fraud, phishing and such-like are a widespread problem all over the world. Almost everyone can be fooled - especially those who think that they won't be.
But this is not about fraud communication or crime. This is and has been from the start about a negative association that people in some countries have with the legal form "Ltd." That is all. Nobody thinks that Britons are fraudsters, nobody thinks that all Ltd. companies are owned by criminals. And nobody has indicated or hinted at this in any way whatsoever. And I'm really resenting having to state this time and again.

LLC's are US. But this was part of your statement. And with almost NO bureaucracy to deal with and obtaining one is dirt cheap depending on which state. And we do speak English. Maybe US English but it is English.

That's the point I was making. Liz
Um, the post of mine you are quoting is a reply to your post saying that in France you can register a SARL without capital. It was NOT a reply to your post about LLCs. I made a separate reply to that. If you take my reply to your post about SARL as a reply to your post about LLC, then that is not going to make much sense.
 

Elizabeth

Well-known member

How many more times am I going to have to say this? NOBODY said that people who form Ltd companies are criminals! Let alone LLC.

This is not about fraud or allegations of fraud. The point that was initially brought up is that "Ltd" is a mistrusted legal form in some European countries. Obviously nobody here thinks that XenForo is run by criminals or anything stupid like that. The point that was being made is that when someone from one of the European countries who knows about these things sees a "Ltd", there is instantly a negative connotation. Nothing more.

For me personally, I couldn't care less. If any of my clients feel weird about a Ltd in their footer, I will advise them to buy branding free. For my own projects, I have no problem with Ltd being in the footer. I didn't have the problem with Jelsoft, so why would I now?
But some people obviously are worried about that.
It would have been nice for those people if they were able to put XenForo isntead of XenForo Ltd. For two reasons:
1. They wouldn't have to buy branding-free.
2. XenForo wouldn't loose that footer link as a means of promoting their product.

But these are the decisions that Mike, Kier and Ashley have to make and have made, so there really is no point in dragging this thread on and on with discussions spiraling ever more widely away from the actual subject of this discussion.

Then you must only know very computer savvy people. Fraud, phishing and such-like are a widespread problem all over the world. Almost everyone can be fooled - especially those who think that they won't be.
But this is not about fraud communication or crime. This is and has been from the start about a negative association that people in some countries have with the legal form "Ltd." That is all. Nobody thinks that Britons are fraudsters, nobody thinks that all Ltd. companies are owned by criminals. And nobody has indicated or hinted at this in any way whatsoever. And I'm really resenting having to state this time and again.
Yet, you are the one who brought it up. I agree it's time to drop it altogether and close this discussion. Tempers are starting to flair and bottom line is that the final decision will be Kier, Mike, and Ashley's anyway.  
 

EQnoble

Well-known member
Well all in all this is the first time I've heard of this being an issue and was merely pointing out my view as a person who would be reading something like this for the first time. I meant no disrespect by my comment and just wanted to make that clear but my point is if there is a branding free option you can remove the whole thing or you can just pay the cost of the software and leave it there. Liz did not not need to get insurance because she is probably not in a position where if her company was sued for something it would result in the loss of her house or something whereas my friend installs the barrier between rain and a living room, stands to reason he could lose the value of his house if a roof he installs fails. But the point is liability is still there and it's a registered company so when I read about things like fraud being associated with a specific legal structure I hear fraud ( I was not saying you said that but that's the impression it give's me ) and I might be turned away from a place which otherwise didn't deserve such an action. And just like xF, vB or any other script the trademark way the software works is pretty recognizable as a unique professional job so I guess the point of this is very obfuscated to me when I thought this was about branding verses branding free and cost relations not a debate on whether the proper method of registering a company was observed.

Again I mean no disrespect, but if some European countries don't trust a specific business structure it's more than likely a localized thing because the locale allows crooked people there to do things that violate the system rendering the faith of the honest people in that system nil in regards to that system.
 

erich37

Well-known member
This topic is not related to XF at all.
Incorporating your company in the U.K. is not a bad thing, in fact it gives many benefits to people not originating from the U.K.

It is just a matter of different legal requirements when incorporating a Ltd.-company, meaning "minimum paid-in-capital" and therefore "$-amount of liability" of Limited-companies varies from country to country.

As said, this topic is solely about politics, taxes and about global economic competition.
This topic is not anything which anybody of us will be able to change or influence at all.

The only thing which was asked for, was whether XF requires to have the 3 letters "Ltd." included within the footer when using a XF-branded-licence.

The solution to this would be quite simple:
give webmasters the option to select either one of 2 different "XF-branded footer" types:

- choose a XF-branded-footer including the word "Ltd." Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010 XenForo Ltd.
- choose a XF-branded-footer without the word "Ltd." Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010
 

Been Told

Well-known member
I have reached the end of the line of being willing to discuss this any further. We are running in circles and in some cases I am getting the distinct impression of certain people intentionally misunderstanding me. Which for me is the point where I remove myself from the discussion.
 

woostar

Member
(back to the original point) For me having an option to remove the xF info/link is a must. It dilutes my sites branding, which I've worked really hard for (hence why I've paid to have it removed on my current forum software licences). I think the real point is, if XenForo wants those sites (that take their forum seriously enough to pay the extra) to convert, then xF needs to have a branding free option right out of the starting gates (doesn't have to be cheap... just reasonable). Better to have a 'Big-Boards that use XenForo' endorsement page on the xF corperate site than not to have the option and potentially miss out.


BTW, is it my imagination or has the footer just changed as I write this:

from:
<linked>Forum software by XenForo™</linked>, ©2010 XenForo Ltd.
Terms of Service
to:
<linked>Forum software by XenForo™, ©2010 XenForo Ltd.</linked>
Terms and Rules
 
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