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22 February 2011
It is recommended that all business emails contain the following two
1. Mandatory information
2. Optional Information
Sections 349 to 351 of the Companies Act
1985 (as amended by the Companies Act 2006) require that the following
information is included in all business emails sent by a company (as
well as company letterheads and order forms):
- The name of the company
- The registered office of the company
- The place of incorporation of the
- The registration number of the company
- If it is an investment business then
this must be stated in the emails.
- Limited companies that are exempt from
the obligation to have the word 'limited' as part of their name must
state that they are limited companies in their business emails.
All of the above information must be
included on the company website as well as in all communications sent
by the company.
Links to website
It is not enough to simply provide a link
at the bottom of the email to the company's website.
It is the duty of Trading Standards to
ensure that this requirement under the Companies Act is fulfilled. If
they find that the mandatory information is not provided on all company
business communications they could impose a fine.
Non-compliance with listing the mandatory
information can lead to a maximum fine of £1,000 under the
Continual breach of this requirement could
lead to an additional fine of up to £3000 per day.
It is advised that companies list the
following in their email footers, but it must be noted that the
information is not mandatory under the Companies Act:
1. Email disclaimers
2. Confidentiality Notices
These are used in email footers to limit
the company's liability. They can be drafted to exclude or limit the
liability in relation to claims such as by third parties concerning the
content of the email, malicious software transmitted with the email, or
any negligent statements made in the email.
As there is little legal guidance on email
disclaimers, expert legal advice should be sought to decide which
disclaimers are appropriate for a specific business. Care must be taken
when drafting email disclaimers, since those that are too broad are
unlikely to be favourable with the courts and may fail to be effective.
These state that the information contained
in the email is confidential, and that the recipient of the email
should not disclose any confidential information received without the
Again, there is no legal guidance for
confidentiality notices, other than the general law of confidence, so
these should also be drafted by legal advisors. However, because of
this, a court will exercise its discretion when dealing with a dispute
based on a confidentiality notice, based on the individual facts of the
If you need help with
drafting your company's email notices, then please contact our
Commercial Law Department.
Inam Ali is a Solicitor at Lawdit,
Commercial Property and Intellectual Property Law and can be contacted
via email: email@example.com
About the Author
Lawdit Solicitors offer services and
advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal
agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on
Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the
International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court
Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign
association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-03-16 13:21:02 in Legal Articles