What is my legal entity?

by 21 Mar 2019

During your application for your CAA PfCO, you will be asked for your Legal Entity. It is really important to get this right, otherwise it could delay your application with the CAA.

Who will hold the PfCO?

When it comes down to it, the legal entity is the holder of the PfCO. In the Air Navigation Order, the PfCO holder is also now referred to as the “UAS Operator” To understand this fully, you must remember that the PfCO is slightly separate from pilot competency. The Legal Entity holds the permission. Anybody who is going to operate under that permission must hold evidence of pilot competency.

In the vast majority of cases the Legal Entity with either be a person or a limited company.

You can have a “trading as” as well, but that is not the legal bit.

Example 1

Joe Bloggs is a photographer and trades as JB Photography. He could apply to the CAA as just:

Joe Bloggs


Joe Bloggs (trading as JB Photography)

Example 2

Rachel Jones is a wedding videographer and owns Angel Wedding Films Ltd. With her drone she is setting up a trading style Angel Wings. She could apply as

Angel Wedding Films Ltd


Angel Wedding Films Ltd (trading as Angel Wings)

The CAA PfCO List

The UK Civil Aviation Authority maintain a list of PfCO holders that is updated every few weeks.

If you look at the list you can see examples of Legal Entities and trading styles. If you haven’t yet chosen a company or trading style, it is well worth looking at the list as a lot of names with Sky or names of birds are really over-used!

The full list of drone operators with a valid CAA Permission for Commercial Operations.

Make sure your paperwork is consistent!

When applying to the CAA, you need to ensure all paperwork is accurate. Whatever you put on your application form must be replicated exactly on your insurance and your operations manual. If you are applying as a limited company, the CAA will check the name and number on Companies House. So please check that the spelling and any punctuation are correct.