Email Marketing and the Companies Act

As of 1 January 2007, Companies in the UK must include certain regulatory information on their Websites and in their Email footers or they will breach the Companies Act and risk a fine.

Every Company should list its Company registration number, place of registration, and registered office address on its website as a result of an update to the legislation of 1985.

The information, which must be in legible characters, should also appear on Order Forms and in Emails.

Such information is already required on “business letters” but the duty is being extended to websites, order forms and electronic documents.

Information to be displayed on your website

There have been recent amendments to the Companies Act 1985 (the “1985 Act”) made by the Companies (Registrar, Languages and Trading Disclosures) Regulations 2006 (the “Regulations”), which came into force on 1 January 2007.

The position before 1 January 2007

Section 349 of the 1985 Act states that a company must display its name on business letters, notices and various other pieces of company documentation.

If it does not do so it is liable to a fine and an officer of the company may also be liable for a fine for authorising the issuance of a non-compliant document.

Section 351 of the 1985 Act states that a company must display other particulars on its business letters and order forms.

Again, if a company does not comply with these obligations it is liable to a fine and an officer of the company may be liable for a fine for issuance of a non-compliant document.

The position as of 1 January 2007

Schedule 1 of the Regulations makes changes to the wording of sections 349 and 351 of the 1985 Act.

The ambit of both sections is widened from business letters and order forms to also include all its websites.

Additionally it is clarified that any documents referred to in either of these sections include hard copy, electronic or any other form.

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