HUDDERSFIELD firms are being targeted in a clamp- down on TV licence dodgers.
The move is part of a national campaign by the Government's TV Licensing agency to tackle a "business blacklist" of potential evaders.
The campaign, in November, will focus on industry sectors which have a poor track record for paying up.
More than 500,000 business in those sectors will be warned that they risk prosecution, a trip to court and a fine of up to £1,000 if they need a TV licence but do not have one.
Businesses under the spotlight include shops, restaurants, garages, travel agencies, estate agencies, banks and food manufacturers.
Tim Upton, regional manager for TV Licensing in the north, said: "More people than ever before have a TV at work, but our research shows that thousands of businesses may not be properly licensed.
"Often this is because everyone at work thinks someone else is responsible for buying the TV licence, but in the end no one does.
"With the prospect of a trip to court and a £1,000 fine, this could be an expensive and embarrassing mistake to make."
He said: "This crackdown is a wake-up call to businesses."
By law, any business using equipment to receive television programmes needs a valid TV licence. This equipment includes not only television sets but also set top boxes and computers fitted with a PCTV card used in this way. One licence will cover all the TV receiving equipment the business uses on a single site.
However, if any part of the site is sublet to another business, then that business has to have its own separate licence.
The Federation of Small Businesses has reinforced the message.
Spokesman Stephen Alambritis said: "All businesses need to be aware of the TV licensing regulations and how they might affect them.
"If a business provides televisions on site, for staff or customers for instance, and uses these TVs to receive broadcast services, they will need to be licensed.
"Rather than face the prospect of prosecution, we would urge all other businesses to double check that they have a valid TV licence."