What is Impressum Law: Impressum Law is the term given to a legally mandated statement of the ownership and authorship of a document; it must be included in books, newspapers, magazines and now websites and is a type of notice that indicates basic legal and publication information to the visitor. your website should show the owner or legal entity to it visitors or potential customers.
Because of the massive explosion of the internet and social media, the world is getting smaller, not literately but in every other sense of the word, these days it is now possible to be updated on what friends and family are doing around the globe, it’s so easy to keep in contact via tweeting, reading emails updating post, our world can at times, feel smaller than ever. Skimming through posts, checking tweets, and reading emails gives us constant insight into what friends and families are up to—even if they are located halfway across the planet.
As the economy grows and become more global the need for a standard becomes more and more apparent, it’s so easy to think that the rules we all feel as normal and common sense should apply to everyone and to all countries, however this is far from the truth and there are still lots of barriers to selling services to other countries and as the global economy grows these diminishing barriers also apply to business practices and norms. But even today, variations in legal practices, trade policies, as well as differences in cultures is still playing a large part in shaping our global economic environment.
The growth of companies on the internet (web 2.0 companies) who are currently conquering the globe the main players being Google, Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb have all encountered various bumps in the road throughout their campaigns to broaden their reach and cross borders.
For Sole owners and for established UK businesses, expanding into other EU countries is often the next step to scale. But setting up or expanding an enterprise abroad requires more than just being aware of sales trends, like those mentioned above. It’s often easy to forget the smaller, more workaday details when establishing an international presence.
Namesfx Contents Menu
- What is an Impressum?
- What does an Impressum need to display?
- Legal consequences of failing to include an Impressum
What impact does this have on site owners
Remember, an Impressum is a type of notice that indicates basic legal and publication information to the visitor. The information required for a website is not the same as the “About us” section on a website.
Standard website notices
- copyright notice
- website terms and conditions
Website selling shippable goods
- Every care must be taken to ensure your customers have read the terms and conditions before placing an order.
- Customer must be notified how long the item will take to be delivered.
- Customers must be made aware of what to do if an item if faulty or fail to show up
- The legal entity of your business must be clear to your customers.
- Customers must be able to understand exactly what they are purchasing
- Price including all taxes
Any Business, companies, online shops, and online media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, and journals, wishing to operate within any of the German-speaking countries are obliged to make this information easily available to users.
According to German media laws, any website designated to be viewed by the public requires the addition of an imprint. This includes social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.
This requirement also applies to legal entities registered outside of the German-speaking realm that compete on the respective German, Austrian, or Swiss markets. Failing to comply with such regulations can prove to be a burden and may result in written warnings or even fines of up to €50,000 (£31,000), such is the case in Germany.
As of May 24th, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation has been in place. Find out more about the GDPR by following this link.
Some lines of work require the addition of special company information. For example, if a website provides journalistic or publishing services and content, it must mention the person responsible for producing the content. Special provisions are in place for businesses undergoing liquidation: they must mention their current status in the website credits. The information a service provider has to include depends on the content and products a website provides.
E-commerce websites require an additional designation. German law stipulates that online traders link to the European dispute settlement website. The platform mediates between sellers and customers in case of a dispute and provides information on customers’ rights.
Importantly, a website imprint should be easy to access and should not be hidden. This includes placing the imprint link where it is easily accessible. Website owners are reminded to ensure that their website credits section is clearly marked as such and visible on every single web page. The content should be regularly updated to reflect any changes.
German Impressum law doesn’t just affect websites. If you regularly send business emails, you should include a similar disclaimer.
Legal consequences of failing to include an Impressum
If you plan to establish an online business presence globally, you must adhere to the Impressum law. Website owners who choose to ignore these legal requirements face fines of up to €50,000 ($54(£40,000). In addition, the law requires the commercial intention of a website to be clearly labeled as such so all customer can understand and choose correctly.
That means when you conduct business via your website, you must include your company address and legal entity in the imprint. Any breach thereof can be fined up to €50,000 ($54(£40,000). You may also receive an official warning if you fail to include the relevant details in your imprint. This could incur legal costs and fines.
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when doing business internationally, and it’s a lot easier than you think, however, being mindful of the unique quirks of your target country will not only facilitate trust: it will also help you steer clear of irritating warnings or burdensome and unexplained fees.
and remember its a lot easier than you may think, millions of website owners are doing it, right now.