Article - Company Law

What Information Should You Include on Your Company Website & E-Mails?

Introduction

A common question asked by companies is what information should be included on its website and e-mails.  The answer has, thankfully, become clear since the Companies (Registrar, Languages and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2006 ('the 2006 Regulations') came into force on 1 January 2007.

The Existing Requirements

Sections 349 and 351 of the Companies Act 1985 requires each company (which includes limited liability partnerships) to provide its company name on letters, cheques, notices, invoices and receipts.  It also requires additional information such as the country of registration, company registration number and registered office to be included on business letters and order forms.

The New Requirements

From 1 January 2007 the 2006 Regulations require each company to include its full corporate name, country of registration, company registration number and registered office on its website and on anything sent in an electronic form, such as e-mails.

The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 ('the 2002 Regulations') also requires companies which market or supplies goods or services electronically (regardless of whether it is paid for those services) to include:

·                a contact e-mail address;

·                if the company is a member of a trade association with a membership register accessible by the public, membership details, including any registration number; and

·                if the company is registered for VAT, the VAT number.

It should be noted that a company does not need to include the information required by the 2002 Regulations on e-mails: it simply has to provide it on the website before the contract is concluded.

The information should be provided in a clear and accessible manner.  You do not need it on every page of a website.  For example, you could include it on one page headed “contact us” or “about us” page.  Similarly, you can include the information required by the 2006 Regulations in an e-mail’s footer.

Summary

You should therefore check your websites and e-mails to ensure that the following information is included:

·                your full corporate name.  If you trade under a style such as ABC Hire then you need to state your full corporate name followed by the trading style (e.g. ABC 123 Limited t/a ABC Hire);

·                your company's registered office address (which can not be a PO Box);

·                your company registration number and country of registration;

·                an email address which you can be contacted on;

·                if you are a member of a trade association with a membership register accessible by the public, the membership details, including any registration number; and

·                if you are VAT registered, the VAT number.

Article First Published: 1 June 2007

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