You probably didn’t found your company because you are so interested in legal details. These are often complicated and many feel a heartfelt sigh of despair at the mere mention of the word "imprint".
But we have good news for you: Writing an imprint is not as difficult as it sounds. You must consider only a few things and already your legal text is ready. Which are those, we reveal to you in this article.
We want to explain you the topic imprint as understandable as possible. Nevertheless we are not lawyers. Therefore, we cannot offer you legal advice, but only point you in the right direction.
What is an imprint?
An imprint is a separate subpage on which you explain who is responsible for your website. With a private Website you indicate thus your personal data, with a firm Website name and address of your enterprise. You also have to name the person who is legally responsible for the content of the website. Often this is the managing director.
What is the purpose of an imprint?
In many countries, the law requires you to provide certain information about your business. In most cases, this is information that you make publicly available anyway: for example, your contact details or the number of your commercial register entry.
This information should make it clear to your visitors who is responsible for a website and how this person or company can be contacted. This is to protect customers.
On top of that, you create trust with your customers by providing your contact information in a transparent way. With an imprint, you not only comply with the law, but also improve the reputation of your company.
Does the imprint obligation apply to my website?
The simple answer is: Yes, you probably need one. However, there are a few exceptions, but they are very rare. In short: If your website serves exclusively a private purpose and is only accessible to a limited group of people (e.g., you are not allowed to use it for any other purpose), it must be clearly recognizable as an imprint. B. by password), you do not need an imprint.
Whether your website falls into this category, however, is often not easy to assess – especially if you are not a legal expert. If you want to be on the safe side, you should seek appropriate legal advice.
What about freelancers or small businesses?
The size of your company makes no difference. If you offer a product or a service, there is always an imprint obligation.
What must be in the imprint?
Basic information such as:
- Name of your company
- Address of your company
- Owner of your company
- Contact options
Depending on the country, industry and other factors, you may need additional information. For example:
- Name of a legally responsible person
- Number of your commercial register entry
- Tax number
- The competent district court
The information in an imprint varies from case to case. It is not enough if you simply copy the imprint of another company and replace the company name. To be on the safe side, you should ask a legal expert for advice or use a legal text generator, such as those offered by Jimdo and Trusted Shops.
Where on my website must the imprint be located?
The law requires that the imprint must be easy to find. It must also be clearly recognizable as an imprint.
Whether the imprint must be accessible via a direct link was unclear for a long time. This has now been clarified by the courts. The fact that an imprint must be easy to find does not mean that this must happen with a single click. Nevertheless, you are on the safe side with a direct link and make it extra easy for your visitors.
Most companies don’t want their visitors to be distracted by legal texts. Your attention should be entirely focused on the products or services you offer. This is why your imprint should stay in the background.
On most websites you will find the link to the imprint at the bottom of the footer. With Jimdo this link is created automatically, you only have to add the appropriate content. If you are looking for your imprint, you will quickly find it in the footer. All others are not distracted.
How do I add an imprint to my Jimdo website??
Both of Jimdo’s website construction kits offer subpages that are specifically intended for the imprint. You can call it up via the edit mode and adjust it:
Our tip for Dolphin users: You can also use the integrated legal text manager from Trusted Shops. After the tool has created your imprint, it maintains the text in the right place and keeps it up to date – all automatically.
Must my imprint also be called "imprint?
From a legal point of view, your imprint must be clearly marked as such. Practically means that you also have to call it "imprint". It would be possible to add something like "provider identification", but who wants that?.
What happens if I don’t have one?
In Germany warnings are probably the best known consequence. These are sent by competitor companies or consumer protection organizations, if your legal texts are not correct or completely missing. Some "warning lawyers" even do nothing else than looking for companies that they can warn off. This can lead to high fines. So it’s no surprise that more emphasis is placed on a valid imprint in Germany than in other countries.
Can I have an imprint created, z. B. with an imprint generator?
Yes, there are several possibilities: For example, you can hire a legal expert. This is a safe but often expensive option. In addition, there are legal text generators on the Internet that will quickly and easily create an imprint for you at a reasonable price.
Together with Trusted Shops, Jimdo offers legal text manager for Dolphin. This tool automatically adjusts the texts when the legal situation changes. For Creator users, Jimdo and Trusted Shops offer the exclusive Abmahnschutz Basic service.
Why each country has different regulations?
What information an imprint must contain is defined by an EU directive. Each country must implement this directive in their national legislation. How this happens in detail depends both on existing laws and on how the legislator interprets the directive.
Can an imprint also be formulated in the language style of my company? Can it be funny?
There is no law that forbids it. However, the first commandment is: All necessary information must be presented in an unambiguous way. This is often interpreted as "information without distraction". Humor or the special style of your business can be understood as a distraction.
So, first of all, provide all the necessary info in an unambiguous way. Afterwards, there may be an opportunity to inject a little more personality. But keep in mind for whom you are writing your imprint: for people who want to contact you for legal reasons. Humor may not be the right thing in this case.