How can I make sure that my website is compliant with the law
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6 February 2009
who operates a website needs to comply with a number of different
legislative provisions dealing with various issues. These are
the entity operating the website is a UK registered company, it must
provide its full legal name, place of incorporation, registered number
and registered office address on its website(1).
the entity operating the website is not a UK registered company, it
must still provide certain information about itself, such as its name
and its geographical address(2).
website operators (whether or not they are a UK or foreign company or a
sole trader) must provide, in addition to certain other information, an
email address for communication, and if the website operator is subject
to VAT, its VAT registration number.(2)
Selling goods and
you are selling goods and services on your website, depending on
whether you are selling to businesses or consumers, you need to comply
with the regulations that apply to e-commerce(2)
and distance selling(3).
You will also need to comply with the
regulations which relate to unfair commercial practices(4)
and, if you dealing with consumers, the regulations dealing with unfair
you collect personal information from users of your website, via a
contact form or otherwise, or if your website sends out cookies, you
which explains what personal information you have collected and what
you will do with it(6).
will also need to make sure that you comply with the eight data
protection principles set out in the DPA for dealing with personal data
and, where required to do so, you must register with the Information
What happens if I do not
comply with the law?
you are a UK registered company, it is a criminal offence to fail to
provide on your website the required company information.
you are selling goods and services on your website and you fail to
comply with the applicable regulations, the Office of Fair Trading can
seek an ‘enforcement order’ against you.
are collecting personal information on your website and you fail to
comply with the DPA, you may be committing a criminal offence,
depending on the nature of the breach.
For detailed advice on intellectual
property issues including in relation to websites, please contact David
Marchese, partner, or Mitra Pahlabod,
- The Companies (Trading
Disclosures) Regulations 2008.
- The Electronic Commerce
(EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (as amended).
- The Consumer Protection
(Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (as amended).
- The Consumer Protection
from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
- The Unfair Terms in
Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999; the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977
- The Data Protection Act
© Davenport Lyons 2009. All
document reflects the law as at February 2009. It is
nature, and does not purport in any way to be
comprehensive or a
substitute for specialist legal advice in individual circumstances.
About the Author
Davenport Lyons [www.davenportlyons.com]
is an international business law firm based in the West End of London.
has an excellent reputation in areas spanning corporate to property,
to intellectual property, music to film finance and digital rights to
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-26 01:14:35 in Legal Articles