At the start of 2007, a piece of legislation came into force to bring the UK in line with European requirements, specifically the First Company Law Directive which controls the minimum information requirements which has to appear on company documents, including the website, as well as all written communications including e-mail.

In it, it states that businesses are expected to include details such as company registration details, company address, registration number and contact details on all company documentation including business letters, emails and of course websites.

An aide memoir from OutLaw.com gives us the details that needs to be included on the website, though not on every page thankfully:

The name, geographic address and email address of the service provider. The name of the organisation with which the customer is contracting must be given. This might differ from the trading name. Any such difference should be explained e.g. “XYZ.com is the trading name of XYZ Enterprises Limited.”

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. 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.

If a company, the company’s registration number should be given and, under the Companies Act, the place of registation should be stated (e.g. “XYZ Enterprises Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 1234567”)

If the business is a member of a trade or professional association, membership details, including any registration number, should be provided.

If the business has a VAT number, it should be stated even if the website is not being used for e-commerce transactions.

Prices on the website must be clear and unambiguous. Also, state whether prices are inclusive of tax and delivery costs.

Although they are not specifically mentioned, we can assume that these business details should also be included on our business blogs since they are effectively a special type of website. So make sure that you are covered – after all, your blog is a key element of your business communications.

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