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Are You Legal?

Does your website include the basic business information required by law?

There are a number of potential legal requirements for ALL business websites, but here I shall concentrate on the absolute basics – your business details.

It never ceases to amaze me how many business websites do not include the fundamental basics in terms of business details required by law.

Your website must generally include all of the business information required on your letterhead and other business stationery and communications such as invoices and emails. This information does not have to be included on every page but must be easily accessible, which usually means on your ‘contact’ page or ‘about us’ page. Burying it somewhere in your privacy policy or terms and conditions does not suffice.

Generally the following information is required:

      • Your business trading name
      • Your company registered name (if a limited company and different to your trading name)
      • Where registered (limited companies – e.g. ‘England and Wales’)
      • Your registration number (limited companies)
      • Your trading address (head office suffices if multiple addresses)
      • You registered office for correspondence (limited companies, if different to above)
      • Your own name (if sole trader and different to your trading name)
      • All partners names (if a partnership)
      • Email address
      • A non-electronic means of contacting you (e.g. phone number)
      • Your VAT number (if VAT registered and regardless if you are selling online or not)
      • Details of membership of any trade associations etc.

These requirements are in place so that people know who they are dealing with and are able to contact them or issue documents, check qualifications and memberships etc. In some cases the public may wish to report misleading advertising to the Advertising Standards Authority or have other legal issues and no business is entitled to put up a shield against this by hiding their details.

One really has to question the authenticity and ethics of any business that would wish to hide these details.

Some sole traders working from home are reluctant to reveal their home address but it is their decision to work from home. If they don’t like the consequences then unfortunately they need to work from somewhere other than home (or at least have another address at which they are traceable and easily contactable).

Here at pinkdylan we go out of our way to advise clients of these requirements, but will always follow clients instructions on the subject – but if these are to exclude the required details on their heads be it! Four figure fines for ‘first offences’ are available.

If any client of ours does not currently include all the required details on a site built and hosted by us we are always at hand to add these free of charge.