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#1 fisicx

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 03:29 AM

It seems to be emerging that many (European) commercial websites are not displaying statutory information about the company according to this article from the Out-Law and others.

The gist of the regulations means that you must show company information including address and telephone number and the company registration number. And it also appears that an email address is required as well - an online form is not sufficient.

Another point to note is that the geographical location of the site is irrelevant - if the business it trading in the UK/Europe then the details still need to be on the website even if the server is in India.

Note also that the regulations also include 'information' sites and those providing other services.

But in any case, providing all the above is actually good practice as it provides credibility to the business.

Just though you would like to know.

#2 lee.n3o

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:17 AM

Nice find fella... Thanks

#3 Karl Ribas

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:58 PM

A very interesting read. I have a client who is looking to break into a specific UK market and I'm sure he'll be interested in this as well. Thanks for sharing.

#4 Wit

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:33 PM

Sorry, that article is a bit long for me.... :)

In a nutshell: what will happen to you or to your site if you DON'T do this? And isn't the grey area immense?





edit: punctuation

Edited by Wit, 10 January 2007 - 02:33 PM.


#5 fisicx

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:25 PM

Dunno, it's a trading standards thing.

I suppose you could be liable for prosecution for failing to meet the trading standards, it depends on if they find out you don't comply. But the implication is that a customer can obtain details of the commercial enterprise providing goods or services in the same way that a shop must display it's company registration details. It means you know who to complain to ro about if it all goes pair shaped.

In any case, why would you want to hide your contact details? Surely it is good practice to provide an address, telephone number, email and company registration somewhere in the site.

#6 Wit

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 05:51 PM

Yeah but if "company" sites are doing that anyway, and if Santa isn't gonna love them any less for NOT complying, then what's the purpose of this "rule"? Surely, this must have been a pet peeve of some MP who took his/her chance on a slow day and turned it into legislation when people werent looking

<warning type="imminent">possible rant material, that... Hmmmm :)

#7 Ron Carnell

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:25 PM

Surely it is good practice to provide an address, telephone number, email and company registration somewhere in the site.

Only if you really need all those "size enhancement" spams.

#8 fisicx

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:53 AM

Ha Ha Ron.

But hiding your email address is fairly simple.

Wit,

Not going to lose any sleep over this issue. But turn it around and ask yourself: Why would I want to hide my company details? There have been a number of posts in the website hospital about the credibility of a site. The recommendation has always been to make sure the owner inclues contact details.

In any case, if you get down to the bottom of the article it does contain a whole bunch of explanations with respect to spam, online contracts (ecommerce), ISP responsibilities etc. The inclusion of company details on a website are just part of the regulations.

#9 Respree

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:34 PM

Why would I want to hide my company details? There have been a number of posts in the website hospital about the credibility of a site.


I'm in full agreement that complete disclosure enhances one's credibility when conducting business on the Net, whether itís the law or not. It's just good business sense, which can only result in improved conversion rates.

I can think of circumstances, however, where a company may decide it's in their best interest not to place disclose certain information. A single woman living alone running an ecommerce site out of her home may decide she doesn't want to post her business address, for obvious security reasons. A company, who does not have the resources to man a customer service center may prefer corresponding only by email, and not want to post their phone number. I imagine the list of legitimate reasons not to disclose goes on and on.

Although it's still very much the 'Wild, Wild West,' as the Internet continues to evolve, it's becoming increasingly less so.

Edited by Respree, 11 January 2007 - 10:37 PM.


#10 send2paul

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 02:28 AM

In any case, why would you want to hide your contact details?

You would, (with your domain registration service), if you register using your personal details because you are not a "registered business" - just guy/gal with lots of little e-commerce websites?

Do I want the world and his wife knowing my personal details?...er... no.

Concerned of Essex

p.s. I think Garrick just made this point above...

p.p.s. I am not a single woman living alone in an apartment! :)

Edited by send2paul, 12 January 2007 - 02:30 AM.


#11 fisicx

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:05 AM

Paul, I know a number of women with impressive moustaches who live alone - so I'm not convinced by your statement as to your social status.

It's a fair point about non-disclosure - but should the trading standards people have a need to investigate your business (maybe as the result of a complaint), by not complying with the basic regulations you are almost inviting futher investigation. If all looks above board and shipshape then the men in black will usually let you off with a warning.

But if you choose not to add the necessary then I'm not going to blow the whistle - there are more important things to worry about. In my case I've lost my mug. A catastrophic start to the working day. How is it possible to function without a cup of char.

#12 send2paul

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 03:20 AM

Paul, I know a number of women with impressive moustaches who live alone - so I'm not convinced by your statement as to your social status.

Ah - that'll be the Canvey Island Beauty Pageant Majorettes group! :rofl:

Yes, it was an interesting read that article. One which I have printed off.

Hmm.... that cup of char idea sounds appealing.......

Thirsty of Essex :)

#13 fisicx

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 08:04 AM

Damn - you have discover my weakness and the main reason why Canvey is sinking, it's all those white stilettos punching holes in the ground (a bit on an in-joke for the Brits - sorry to rest of you).

Anyway. If you put an advert in paper asking for help and a bloke turned up offering to do the job for 50 quid would you trust them? At the very least you would ask to see some sort of credentials. And you would expect the invoice to provide details of who you employed...

It's basic business requirements we are talking about here. you don't have to plaster the details on every page - as long as it is somewhere on the site. Even a sole trader needs to put their name and address on the invoice (business link..gov.uk) so why not include the same on the website.

Found my mug BTW.

#14 send2paul

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:39 AM

Ah ha! (dramatic start, eh?!).

Therefore, for the benefit of myself, and those other UK readers to this thread...... I did a little digging, and first of all contacted my local Business Enterprise Authority. Every county has one, and they give FREE(!) advice on business related matters. Of course, this particular query had them flummoxed. But the man did enquire with his colleagues and phoned me back. The result was that I further contacted a "Business Centre", which is about half a mile from here, which has the facility for offering "accomodation addresses".

When I phoned the business centre, they were quite well aware of this situation, (re UK websites and the need for an address), and they are sending me a brochure. I believe the cost for the basic service is in the region of about £120 a year.

So, there you have it. If you're not a bonafide registered company in the UK, but you do have websites which generate revenue and you do not wish to put your home address on the website as the point of contact, you can phone around and find a local organisation to you which provides "accomodation addresses"....

.... unless, of course, someone thinks otherwise?....... :)

Paul

#15 Ron Carnell

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:03 PM

Save yourself some money. Pick a neighbor you don't like and put HIS address and phone number on your site. If you've got an ex, that's even better. :)

People only get what they are willing to pay for. My lawyer charges me enough money that I have his home phone number on speed-dial should I need it. On the other hand, I don't know my UPS driver's name, let alone his phone number. Personal attention doesn't come cheaply, nor should it. Some businesses market premium service, some market rock-bottom prices, but only a fool tries to market both.

Sorry, but I don't believe the role of government should be to determine my business model. That's what a free market system does.

#16 send2paul

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 12:11 PM

Ron - you, me and a zillion other Brits think the same.

And, as was pointed out earlier - how on earth is this sort of thing going to be enforced anyway?

Edited by send2paul, 12 January 2007 - 12:12 PM.


#17 Web

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 06:31 AM

I don't see any postal address on the out-law page of that article! ...nor on the external link provided ( http://www.legislati...02/20022013.htm ) nor on the www.lawcom.gov.uk website homepage .... sure, there are links to such information, but then you can always check the whois database to get such information about me, so both are less accessible than the information being on every page and relatively accessible for those who really want to know and can be bothered to do some research.

in any case, i plead the defence of humanity - i'm human so cannot possibly know and understand all of the law.

Edited by Web, 07 March 2007 - 06:38 AM.


#18 john928

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:37 PM

What about the people that work from home that don't have a company, but just have a few websites. Now would they also have to put their home address and phone number on the websites. I wouldn't think many would be happy with doing that.

#19 send2paul

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:59 PM

I think it's like I said above John:

So, there you have it. If you're not a bonafide registered company in the UK, but you do have websites which generate revenue and you do not wish to put your home address on the website as the point of contact, you can phone around and find a local organisation to you which provides "accomodation addresses"....

I found a place that for £120 a year will allow you to use their address. (They also have a phone and fax service). If you generate less than £120 a year in revenue from your few websites, than you may need to look for a cheaper/different alternative.

Paul

#20 fisicx

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Posted 28 March 2007 - 06:40 AM

@web,

The info is on this page

This was one of those things I discovered whilst doing some research. I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep over the issue but just suppose somebody makes a complaint to the trading standards people. They visit the site looking for contact information. Can't find it so check with the registrar who holds false, incorrect or out of date information (see this thread). What began as a low level complaint may no result in you being put out of business.

Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Back in my box again.



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