Does your Website comply with the Companies Act 2006 and the E-Commerce Regulations?


Companies Act


Since 1 January 2007 the Companies Act 2006 has required UK companies to give the same particulars on their websites, in their emails and in other electronic communications as they are required to give on their hardcopy correspondence and order forms.


Any company failing to state its name, its place of registration the number with which it is registered, and the address of its registered office on its websites, emails and electronic order forms commits an offence. Its officers are also committing an offence. That offence is punishable by a fine and Trading Standards are responsible for enforcement.  If a company is found to have not complied with the new act a fine of up to £1000 can be imposed with a further fine of up to £100 per day for continued failure to comply.


E-Commerce Regulations


The E-Commerce Regulations 2002 require all businesses that offer online information, advertise online or provide online facilities for searching, accessing and retrieving data as well as more conventional online service providers to give their name, geographical address and email address on their websites.  If the business is a company it is required to give its registered name and company number.


If the business is a member of a trade or professional association, it should give details of its membership. The business' VAT number must also be given even if it is not trading online.


Almost all commercial websites are caught by the E-Commerce Regulations but, although they have been in force for a few years, few people are aware of them and even fewer comply with them.  This may well be because there are few fines for non-compliance. Trading Standards have to apply to the court for a 'Stop Now' order, which if breached can be enforced through contempt of court proceedings punishable by a fine or imprisonment.


Contact Details


If you would like further advice about any of the issues considered above please contact Paul Northwood on 01869 331753 or email him at paul.northwood@northwoodreid.com.  


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This article is not intended to be, and should not be taken as being, legal advice. The law often changes and it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; the information in this article is generic in nature and specific legal advice should be taken before acting on any of it.


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