What are the basic legal requirements for your website?

A lot of the websites that you see are breaking at least one UK law. So, what are the basic things that you need to do to ensure your site is not one of them?

There are some laws which apply specifically to websites, some that have been extended to include websites and some which have always applied to everything without a distinction for websites.

The minimum legal requirements for your website

I will begin by advising you that I am not a legal professional and legal advice should be sought if you are unsure about whether any of the following applies to your situation.

  1. Firstly, for limited companies (and similar entities) you need to have the same information on your website that you have to have everywhere else, ie. your registered address, company number and phone number – this can be added to your About page or in the footer of your site.
  2. If you are a sole trader and your trading name is different to your own, then you must state your actual name on your website – again, this can be stated in your About page.
  3. You must have a Privacy policy on your site – the content of these can vary depending on the type of website that you have.
  4. You must also have a Cookie notice – this may also include the need to have a Cookie consent banner visible when visitors first visit your site.

The European E-commerce Directive has introduced some requirements specifically for websites. And even if your website is not “e-commerce”, you still have to comply‚Ķthe directive was just badly named.

There are some extra laws that apply if you are selling through an e-commerce website because of the distance selling regulations. I always advise my e-commerce clients to speak to a specialist solicitor regarding their distance selling obligations and to get a good set of terms and conditions drawn up, because, without them, a well meaning company can easily get into a lot of trouble due to honest mistakes.

If you require any assistance in creating the relevant legal pages for your website, please get in touch.

Mike is a WordPress specialist with 10+ years experience in website design and management.