Mandatory legal notices on your website: the complete checklist

Mandatory legal notices on your website: the complete checklist
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The legal notices of a website: here is a subject that we all tend to avoid dealing with as long as we can, even if it means incurring penalties of which we are not always aware. It’s complex, it’s time-consuming and the regulations in force give the impression of constantly evolving. So, we postpone it. It’s natural… But going head-over-heels in this area is always the wrong choice.

As a digital marketing agency, we are often at the forefront of the difficulties encountered by companies on this subject. We also organized a webinar with Benoît Oberlin (CEO of Sir data) on strategies for maintaining tracking and performance while respecting the legislation on cookies and personal data.

But we realized that before talking about optimizing data collection in compliance with the law, many site owners were not even aware of their obligations in terms of user information. However, this ignorance of the legal rules can have serious consequences, legal, but also reputational.

So, before jumping on a generator of legal notices or copying and pasting the first example of legal notices found on the internet, it may be wise to look at the rules in this area.

In this article, we offer you a quick overview of the question of the legal notices required for a professional website. That said, this article is a simple presentation of the main principles and does not constitute legal advice. The goal is above all to help you situate yourself in relation to your obligations. To go further, it is always advisable to consult a legal professional.

Summary

  • Legal context
  • Risks incurred in the event of non-compliance with the regulations in force
  • Checklist of mandatory legal notices on a website
    • Identification
    • Activity
    • Use of cookies
    • Use of personal data
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • What are the mandatory legal notices on a website?
    • How to write the legal notices of your website?
    • What are the consequences of the absence of legal notices on a website?

Legal context

What if we told you that more than a dozen legal texts regulate the mandatory legal notices for a professional website, would you believe us? You will have to, because here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Articles L131-1 to L131-6 of the Consumer Code
  • Article R111-1 of the Consumer Code
  • Articles 226-16 to 226-24 of the Penal Code
  • Articles R625-10 to R 625-13 of the Penal Code
  • Articles 6 and 19 of Law No. 2004-575 of June 21, 2004 on confidence in the digital economy
  • Decree No. 98-247 of April 2, 1998 relating to craftsmanship qualification and the directory of trades
  • Articles 34 to 35 A of the General Tax Code
  • Articles 12, 13 and 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation
  • Law n°78-17 of January 6, 1978 relating to data processing, files and freedoms
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You have been warned! That said, we agree, no online business player has himself consulted this endless list of articles of law to ensure the compliance of the legal notices of his own website…

Possibly, if you are one of the most informed site owners, you may be familiar with the broad outlines of the obligations introduced by the SEO for Psychologist (in particular on the processing of your users’ personal data) and by the “Informatique et Liberates” law. (In particular on the consent to the deposit of cookies on the navigation terminals of your users). If this is not the case, come and discuss it with us, our Account Managers can brief you on the main “privacy” principles to secure your digital marketing:

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But, as you can see, the mandatory legal notices are not limited to compliance with these two famous texts.

Risks incurred in the event of non-compliance with the regulations in force

Before moving on to the checklist of legal notices to be included on a professional website, it seemed appropriate to take a detour through the risks incurred in the event of non-compliance with the obligations. Naturally, we think of legal risks, but they are not the only ones…

The simple fact of not displaying the legal notices on a site exposes the owner of this site to a penalty of up to 1 year in prison and a fine of €75,000 for a natural person (€375,000 for a legal person).). In any case, this is the sanction provided for in article 6 of the Law for Confidence in the Digital Economy. Admit that it would be a shame to come to this.

Moreover, the penalties to which sites are exposed that do not comply with the legislation on consent to cookies and the processing of personal data are even greater. If these sanctions were applied at their theoretical level, they could reach 10 to 20 million euros or 4% of the company’s worldwide turnover. Enough to put yourself permanently in the red for not having shown yourself a minimum of conscientiousness.

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But that’s not all! Beyond the legal and financial risk, a company that lacks seriousness in its approach to legal notices and other legal obligations related to its website runs the risk of seeing its reputation deteriorate. Consumers are more and more aware of these corporate obligations and they are better able to identify those who are not complying with them. Inevitably, the image they have of these companies suffers and it is today a widespread cause of reduced customer retention.

So, to exercise your activity serenely and continue to build a relationship of trust with your customers, here is the basics of the mandatory legal notices for a website:

Checklist of mandatory legal notices on a website

This list concerns professional Website Copywriting and takes into account the obligations related to the different categories of activities, which are not exactly bound by the same legal notices. It must constitute a basis for verification but cannot fully replace the advice provided by a legal professional.

Identification

On the site of a company or an individual entrepreneur, whatever the type of activity carried out, there must be mandatory legal notices linked to the identity of the owner of the site:

  • The corporate name or business name (or surname and first name for an individual entrepreneur)
  • The address of the registered office (or home address for an individual entrepreneur)
  • Contact details (telephone number and email address)
  • The legal form of the company (SA, SARL, SNC, SAS, etc.)
  • The amount of share capital
  • The name of the director of publication (and that of the editorial manager if different)
  • The identity of the site host (name, denomination or company name, address and telephone number)

Activity

The legal notices must also include information relating to the activity carried out by the owner of the site:

  • The registration number in the trade and companies register (or in the trades directory for a craft activity)

For commercial activity only:

  • The individual tax identification number
  • The General Terms and Conditions of Sale (price including VAT, duration of the offer, terms of delivery, terms of payment, organization of after-sales service, right of withdrawal, etc.)
  • The mediation system made available to customers (which can be integrated into the T&Cs)
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Only for a regulated activity:

  • A reference to the applicable professional rules
  • The indication of the professional title
  • The name of the state in which the professional designation was granted
  • The name of the organization with which registration was made

Use of cookies

The website must also include the mandatory information related to the use of cookies (which must be differentiated from the processing of personal data) to track user behavior, in accordance with the “Informatique et Liberté” law:

In particular, it is necessary to:

  • Provide the necessary explanations on the usefulness and use of cookies
  • Clearly collect user consent to the deposit of cookies on the navigation terminal
  • Suggest a way to refuse them

Use of personal data

Finally, the mandatory legal notices include a dimension related to the processing of users’ personal data (saved in a file and used for commercial purposes), regulated in Europe by the GDPR.

In addition to the fact that, as with cookies, it is necessary to obtain informed consent from users, it is also worth mentioning:

  • The contact details of the data protection officer (DPO or DPD) registered with the Coil
  • Purpose of the processing of personal data
  • The mandatory or optional nature of the answers and the consequences for the Internet user if he does not transmit the requested data
  • The recipient of the data
  • The rights of opposition, access to data and rectification of data
  • Any transfers of data to a State that does not belong to the European Union
  • The legal authorization for data processing (consent of the Internet user, execution of a sales contract or compliance with a legal text)
  • The possibility for the user to file a complaint with the CNIL

And if you are lost in the face of these many obligations, do not hesitate to contact us. In addition to offering, your solutions for deploying and optimizing your digital marketing strategy, we will be happy to put you in touch with our partners who are experts in privacy and, more broadly, in issues of applicable law on the Internet.

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