There is some discussion over whether emails were invented in the 1960s or the 1970s but, either way, they pre-date the internet by some margin and have been around for longer than a fair number of us. And whilst businesses are well-versed in the formalities of including their corporate details on company letterheads, the need to do so in email footers is rather less widely known.
However, since 2007, all company emails (including replies, forwards and emails sent from smartphones) are required to display the company’s full name, its registered office address, its registered number and its place of registration (being England and Wales, more often than not). Alas, the regulations do not extend so far as requiring telephone numbers.
A rather random and entirely unscientific survey of the last 20 emails received from clients immediately prior to writing this note showed that 65% of those emails failed to comply with this requirement.
Failure to do so not only renders the company liable for a £1,000 fine (and a further fine of £100 per day), but also any director who sends a non-compliant email is personally liable to the same extent.
and how many prosecutions have there been?
Answer: None that we’re aware of.
But that in itself is not a reason for being a non-compliant business, is it?
Editor’s Post Script: Ignorance is never a defence but now you’ve read Iain’s helpful note, please ensure all your own business emails (and those of your colleagues) comply with the law, and please add a telephone number for good measure. (Anna)
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.