Keeping it legal | legal requirements regarding company communications

Keeping it legal: Regulations concerning company communications

These days there are numerous legal obligations for businesses for email, web sites and even company stationery. In this article we will guide you through some of these requirements.

Business stationery (hard copy and electronic)
For limited companies and limited liability partnerships the company name must be clearly stated in emails on web sites and on printed stationery such as bills, invoices and notices.

The following must also appear on business letters, order forms,
web sites and in email footers:

  • Place of registration
  • Registered number
  • Registered office address.
  • If the company is being wound up that must also be stated.

BITS can help you automatically insert these legal requirements into your email footers.

Related links:

Business stationery requirements (Companies House)

Email footers and disclaimers (Out-law.com)

Distance selling regulations
Consumers purchasing by mail order, phone, fax, internet or digital Tv have enhanced rights. You must give them a cooling-off period during which they have an unconditional right to cancel the contract.

In the case of services, the cooling-off period normally ends seven working days after the day the order was made - or after written confirmation is received.

In the case of goods, the cooling-off period normally ends seven working days after the day the goods are received.

There are various exceptions to this which you can find in this useful guide from Business Link along with other information for online traders.

Disabled access to websites
The law states that business websites must be accessible to disabled users. Although there are ethical and commercial justifications for this there is also a legal reason: if your site does not meet certain design standards, it is feasible that you could be sued for discrimination.

How likely is this?
So far few companies have faced legal action however the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) did initiate actions against two companies both of whom settled out of court.

It is anticipated that a higher-profile test case will be launched against a non-compliant site and clearly this is a battle which any business will want to avoid. We recommend that if you are commissioning a new web site that your chosen provider is fully conversant with the legal requirements for disabled users. It's also worth checking out how compliant you are currently.

More information from Out-Law.com

Other useful links:

Out-law.com: E-commerce and retail guideslines

Business Link: IT and E-commerce guides

Disclaimer: The above article is not an exhaustive list of all legal
requirements for businesses and should not be used as a substitute
for professional legal advice.

You can easily contact us by email, via our enquiry form or simply call us on 01373 888 333. Posted by Lee Edge on 13/10/2009


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