‘Impressum’ is a Latin word adopted in German; which means ‘Imprint’, ‘Credits’, ‘Legal Disclosure’, ‘Legal Notice’ or ‘Statement of Ownership’, it is a mandatory page that is required on all websites published in German speaking countries (even if the domain is not a .de). It is essentially a page that discloses information about the publisher of your website. It was done in an aim to fight spam, data protection and illegal content and conduct on the Internet by making webmasters disclose who they are
It became compulsory in 2002, and in 2007 was altered specifically for the online sector with the implementation of the Telemediangesetz (Telemedia Law).
Do you need one?
You need an Impressum on all commercial websites in Germanic countries
Failing to comply with such regulations can prove to be a burden and may result in written warnings or even fines of up to 50,000€, such is the case in Germany.
What do you need on an Impressum Page and what are the rules?
The main points that are required on an Impressum page include;
- Name of the website operator or legal entity behind the web presence
- Commercial address
- Contact information (e-mail and telephone numbers should always be included; fax if applicable)
- German trade register number or foreign equivalent
- VAT Identification number/business identification number
- Job or trade-related information (professional association/professional title)
- Information on the board of directors (should regulatory authorization be required)
It must be called “Impressum” and it must be accessible from within 2 links from the homepage