How do I know if my company’s website is legally compliant? 

Websites are the online shop window for your business so, whether you sell goods and services directly via the internet or not, first impressions matter most. 

The method to showcase companies like yours on the internet may come in all different forms.

From a contemporary style website to something more traditional-looking, or maybe a platform that is incredibly visual or which perhaps hasn’t any imagery at all, websites need to work for you and – most importantly – your audience. 

Your business website plays an imperative part in building rapport within the minds of prospective clients. 

It also allows people to understand more about who you are, what you do, and how you can help the people engaging with the content which is published. 

But while your website may be aesthetically pleasing and functional for users, it may not actually be legally compliant. 

So, how do you know if your company’s website is legally compliant? We can help with that. 

For your website to be legally compliant you might need: 

  • Data Protection Information

This should be visible to every user on your website. On your forms, for example, you should have a statement that indicates what someone’s data will be used for. People inputting personal data onto your company’s website must know exactly how their data will be processed. 

  • Cookies Policy

Cookies are small blocks of data created by a server on a website while browsing from one site to the next. They play a part in tracking a browsers engagement so that an experience of browsing the web can become more personalised. The policy about the use of Cookies on your website should detail cookies that are being used and their purpose too. They’re usually displayed as pop-ups or other means to obtain consent. 

  • To ensure that people with a disability can use your website

People who access your goods, facilities, or services are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability, says the Equalities Act. 

The law requires that websites are accessible to disabled people, including those who are blind. 

Your business has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to your website to help disabled individuals access their goods, facilities, and services. 

Website owners can comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard. This is the UK Government recommended best practice for website accessibility. 

  • To make sure that you are not breaching Copyright Law

You must be aware of the copyright of any images or words you use on your website. Get permission, on every occasion, and always credit where credit is due.

Furthermore, it’s imperative to have a Copyright notice on your website – to make it easier to stop others from using your content without permission.

  • To disclose the important information about your business

All the important bits of information about your business, such as the legal entity (the entity that pays tax) using a business name, or with registered companies and partnerships (Ltd, LLP, PLC), the registered office, place of registration and registration number must be disclosed somewhere on your website. 

Many businesses tend to display this information within the footer or the contact section of their website. 

  • How you talk about the service you provide

If your business is providing services you have to disclose certain specified information. Your website is an ideal place to publish these details. Remember to review them periodically to ensure they remain relevant. 

If you are a business that sells goods, services or digital online, otherwise known as retail sales or sales to end-users, you must consider the following points to ensure your website is legally compliant: 

  • Do you comply with general trading law? For example, do you make sure that you don’t engage in unfair commercial practices? If you sell age-sensitive products – such as alcohol, knives, solvents, videos and games do you comply with the rules about who you sell them to? Do you sell products to which safety legislation applies? What about the rules around food businesses and more?
  • Do you know the requirements of the Consumer Contracts Regulations? These rules specify the way that cooling-off periods work during online sales. They also have detailed requirements for the provision of information to the buyer.
  • Do you place additional charges on payments made by card? Well, if you do, you shouldn’t because it’s prohibited.

For further information about how to ensure your company’s website is compliant, get in touch with our expert team today.