As you might imagine, I spend quite a lot of time looking at websites. I look at client sites to see what can be improved, I look at potential client sites to put bids and proposals together and I look for sites that I can prospect to. I also look at other sites to keep my knowledge up to date – and that’s just during the working day.
I see good sites, OK sites, indifferent sites and some real shockers but it does not matter how good (or how poor) the site, whether pennies, pounds or thousands was spent on the development loads miss out on the provision of basic information. A lot of which is a legal requirement when a business is using a website to promote themselves.
As an example, a lot of businesses provide a web form as a means of communication despite the fact that a lot of people don’t like forms – especially ones that ask for too much information. Part of the dislike is due to the fact that sending a form leaves no record of what was sent, nor when it was sent, unless it automatically forwards a copy to the senders email address but there’s no way to know this – until you’ve sent the form (unless the form actually informs you of this)
There was a piece of legislation passed in 2002 called the eCommerce Regulations that applied to ALL companies using the internet, not just those selling online and perhaps that’s why a lot of businesses don’t comply. Either that or it’s simply a lack of knowledge either within the organisation or by the web developer. Either way, ignorance of the law is no excuse – as the law says.
So, what does the law require you to publish in an “easily, permanently and directly available location” on your website?
Minimum information to be provided on your website
- The name of your business, which might be different from the trading name and any difference MUST be explained. For example, ABC.co, is the trading name of ABC Enterprises Ltd.
- The geographic address of the business must be provided
- Your email address. A “Contact us” form without providing an email address is not sufficient
- Your Company Registration Number, if yours is a Registered business, together with the place of registration
- Your VAT Registration Number, if you are VAT registered
- If you are subject to an overseeing body, such as the FCA, then you need to provide the governing agency AND your registration number.
- Prices – if you are quoting prices (or selling) online your pricing should be clear, unambiguous and state whether prices are inclusive of tax and delivery costs, or not.
If you need help with compliance, or with anything else relating to your website or marketing activities then give me a call for an initial, free and zero obligation chat on 01793 238020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org