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Online legal obligations

Posted on 11th July, 2017

When we’re building websites for clients, it’s understandable that they are concerned most about the content, and then the design.


But what’s even more crucial is to make sure that your website is legal.

Any website for a registered business needs to display the following the Business Name, place of registration, registered number, its registered office address and if it is being wound up.

If the website collects user data (i.e. via simple enquiry form, or shopping cart), it’s vital to display a Privacy Policy informing the user what the business does with the data and that it conforms to the the Data Protection Act. The Privacy Policy needs to explain what cookies the website will create and what they are for.

It’s also a legal requirement to gains the user’s consent to leave cookies on their computer, unless the cookie is a necessary requirement for the website to function

There are further legal requisites for e-commerce Sites. These must have Terms & Conditions, and Delivery and Returns Policy pages to display information as part of the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations and Electronic Commerce Regulations (EC Directive).

If you collect and process credit and debit card information, you must conform to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

And to conform to EU Anti-Spam laws, you must ensure your email database is of opt-in email addresses, and include an opt-out instruction on all marketing emails sent. These laws will remain in place irrespective of any Brexit deal.

Of course, if you are VAT registered you must display your registration number.

 These requirements also apply to other communications with customers, if they form part of a business offer.

Confused? We can help you find your way through this maze of legislation, and if you have any doubts or queries, please do give us a call.

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