UK law includes a range of legislation which requires websites to display specific information about their business (or organisation). Rules also apply to other areas of your business such as signs, stationery, invoices, emails and promotional material. Entities such as registered charities and voluntary organisations have other requirements.
If you’re running a business, the requirements vary according to the legal entity of your business (for example, whether it’s a limited company, partnership or a sole trader). If in doubt, seek professional advice from a legal expert about the precise requirements for your website. In addition to seeking advice from a legal expert, relevant information is often also available online at websites such as the UK Government website.
Typically, for registered companies, the following information is usually required for display:
- Company name
- Company registration number
- Country of registration
- Registered company address
- Contact details
- VAT number (if applicable)
The information doesn’t always need to be displayed on every web page, although web page footers are often used. You can, instead, choose to display it on a particular page such as your About us or Contact us page.
Remember that visitors to your website will be encouraged if they know who they’re dealing with, so being transparent about this information should have a positive effect on your business or organisation, enhancing its credibility. After all, no one likes doing business with a company that makes this difficult to find. Hiding the information will potentially drive customers away.
Relevant legislation includes: ‘The Companies Act 2006’ and ‘The Company, Limited Liability Partnership and Business (Names and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2015’, ‘The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013’. and the ‘Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations’. Note that this is not an exhaustive list; other legislation applies.