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What do small businesses need to have on their website to be compliant?

Not the most exciting part of owning a website - but nonetheless, essential to note that certain information must be included in order for your website to be legally compliant. This process can often be forgotten about until of course, something goes awry.
website

Not the most exciting part of owning a website – but nonetheless, essential to note that certain information must be included in order for your website to be legally compliant. This process can often be forgotten about until of course, something goes awry.

Ensure that you include the following key areas:

  • The business name must be easily accessible on the website. If this is different from the trading name, then both must be noted and explained.
  • The business’ physical address.
  • The business’ email address.
  • The prices on the site must be clear and understandable. Tax and delivery costs must be shown whether they are inclusive.
  • If the business is part of a trade or professional association membership details must be given.
  • If the business is a company, the company’s registration number must be provided.
  • If the business has a VAT number then it must be given (even if the website is not being used for e-commerce).
  • The website should also be accessible for users with different needs.

Depending on the use to which the website is put, further information may be required.

Terms and conditions
If your website is used to place orders or any form of e-commerce, your terms and conditions of business must be included. These will form the basis of any contract between you and your customers. Even if you do not sell goods and services via your website, it may be sensible to publish your terms and conditions in any event, so customers know where they stand and you can seek to rely on those terms in any dispute.

Privacy policy (GDPR)
If your company holds and/or processes personal data – which is information about people such as their names and email addresses – you will need a privacy policy. This is essential to ensure you are legally compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018.

This means you need to ensure, that you:

  • Explain how you process personal data
  • Be clear about how you store personal data
  • Gain consent to collect personal data

Cookie consent
Even though the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed by the European Union (EU), it affects any website that gets EU traffic.

This means that your website must have a cookie policy and consent notice. GDPR requires that your website must give the user an opportunity to opt in or reject the use of cookies.

Your website’s cookie policy can be in the header, footer, or in a pop-up window and it must do the following:

  • Explain that your site stores cookies
  • Briefly describe why your site uses cookies
  • Explain how the information obtained from the use of cookies is managed through a link to your privacy policy
  • Disclose what users are agreeing to or accepting
  • Allow users to take action to opt in or customise their cookies
  • If your site uses a checkbox to accept cookies, be sure it is not pre-ticked as the user has to opt in, not out.

Accessibility
If you are a website owner, you need to ensure that access to your website is equal for all who wish to use it. As a result, you must make adjustments to meet this legal requirement or explain that information can be made available in various formats.  Disabilities can take different forms. If a website is not accessible, it can be held to be discrimination against an individual or a class of individuals. This could result in legal action and or loss of reputation.

Summary
When you create your website, please ensure it is legally compliant. Here at PGM we can draft the relevant policies that will meet your needs and adhere to the laws. We can help you with both the content and the design of terms of use, to ensure that they are binding.

Don’t risk drafting your terms alone, let us ease the pressure of getting it right the first time.

Contact our specialist team for further guidance on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

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