UPDATE: For the 2013 Mandatory Legal Practices see Irene Bodle’s 2013 Guide
Does your website comply with the various legal requirements in the UK? Below, I have set out the main UK legal requirements that you should currently be complying with.
About Us/Contact Information
You must provide the following information in an easily accessible position on your website:
- your legal name e.g. XYZ Ltd
- your geographical address
- contact details e.g. telephone number, fax number and email address
- which country your business is registered in and the registration number
- details of any supervisory body which regulates your business e.g. the FSA. For regulated bodies more detailed information is required.
- where you are registered for VAT and your VAT number
- clear details of prices and whether or not delivery and/or tax is included
Registration under the Data Protection Act
If you collect any personal data on your website – e.g. email address, name or address of a living individual, you will be processing personal data and must register as a data controller under the Data Protection Act. It is a criminal offence not to register.
Disabled Access to your Website
If you offer goods or services on your website you need to make your website accessible to disabled users. Level 1 compliance with the WC3 standard will usually suffice.
Trade Marks and Logos
Do not use other people’s trademarks or logos without their consent on your website or you could be liable to pay damages for trademark infringements.
If you accept online payment for goods or services you must provide customers with specific information about their right to cancel, VAT and prices, refunds and defective goods PRIOR to the sale being concluded.
The above are examples of the main legal requirements for websites in the UK. This is a very complicated area of law and the specific rules that apply to you will depend on what goods and services you are offering, whether you are acting BTB (business to business) or BTC (business to customer), where you are based, where your customers are located and many other factors.