Does your site meet the legal requirements to comply with the UK Companies Act 2007?
We ask all our clients to supply the information to comply with the Act, but I wanted this to act as a legal reminder for 2009.
It’s quite simple to comply with this Act, and it can can make your website more conversion friendly. I see so many emails from people who obviously have no idea about this Act so I thought I would publish this to help.
Companies in the UK must include certain regulatory information on their websites and in their email footers before 1st January 2007 or they will breach the Companies Act and risk a fine. OUTLAW
Here’s what you need to know regarding website and email footers to comply with the UK Companies Act (with our information in bold);
- The Company Name -
- Physical geographic address (A PO Box is unlikely to suffice as a geographic address; but a registered office address would – If the business is a company, the registered office address must be included.)
24 Patrick Street,
- the company’s registration number should be given and, under the Companies Act, the place of registration should be stated (e.g.
Hobo Web Limited is a company registered in Scotland with company number SC299002
- email address of the company (It is not sufficient to include a ‘contact us’ form without also providing an email address and geographic address somewhere easily accessible on the site)
- The name of the organisation with which the customer is contracting must be given. Ã‚ This might differ from the trading name. Any such difference should be explained Ã¢â‚¬â€œ e.g.
hobo-web.co.uk is the trading name / style of Hobo Web Limited.
- If your business has a VAT number, it should be stated Ã¢â‚¬â€œ even if the website is not being used for e-commerce transactions.
VAT No. 880 5135 26
- Prices on the website must be clear and unambiguous. Also, state whether prices are inclusive of tax and delivery costs.
All Hobo Web prices stated in email or on the website EXCLUDE VAT
The above information does not need to feature on every page, more on a clearly accessible page. If the business is a member of a trade or professional association, membership details, including any registration number, should be provided. Consider also the Distance Selling Regulations which contain other information requirements for online businesses that sell to consumers (B2C, as opposed to B2B, sales).
For more detailed information about the UK Companies:
- Companies Act 2006 (HTML version)
- Directive on disclosure requirements (4-page / 115KB PDF)
- The Companies (Registrar, Languages and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2006
- Companies Act (760-page / 2.8MB PDF)
- The UK’s E-commerce Regulations – OUT-LAW’s excellent guide
Although we display most if not all of this information on email and website footers, I thought it would be handy to colate this information clearly on one page and explain why it’s there.