"Impressum" on websites in Germany

99 posts in this topic

But e-mail is not a necessary part of the Impressum, so one can display it as image. Or am I wrong?

 

Spamers don't write letters any more.

They do :( There are smartass German spammers who send spam from Switzerland on behalf of German companies who of course can't unsubscribe you because you're not in their customer database.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But e-mail is not a necessary part of the Impressum, so one can display it as image. Or am I wrong?

 

Perhaps, but I am not too worried about email anyway.

What I would to avoid is to have all my info in a huge database.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your concerns still seem very vague to me. I've had my website online for 10 years and never had any problems.

 

I do admittedly resent having to publish my personal details in a country where the locals otherwise seem to expect data protection, and I ignore all phone calls to that number. But never had any problems with spammers.

 

And the Dreamweaver plugins render the text normally (that's the entire idea), so you need to be looking into that option. 
 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do admittedly resent having to publish my personal details in a country where the locals otherwise seem to expect data protection

 

That's exactly how I am feeling as well.

 

I would prefer to have zero results when typing my name on Google.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to protect all information about me from address harvester and robots.

Or at least to make them work/sweat to get the info !

You can't. Germany is the most paranoid, privacy conscious country in the world, but as soon as you publish a commercial website, you're required to list your name, address and tax number for the world to see.

 

It's part of the cost of doing business in Germany. Anything less than full compliance will land you with an expensive Abmahnung.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course if you're a small website you could probably get away with putting incorrect details down. No-one polices this law apart from the self-appointed Abmahner scammers, and as long as all the information is there and the telephone number rings somewhere, then they have no way of verifying if that is actually your address or even your name.

 

I'm not suggesting you actually do this of course, just hypothesising about whether you could. The phone number on my website is a second line that rings on silent, as I have no interest in talking to my customers on the phone.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I may incorporate my company somewhere else in the EU, that way I could still do business in Germany and avoid this "Impressum" law.

I am reading about Luxembourg or Ireland for instance, or even Great Britain.

It seems that the law is less invasive there...

 

I need to check about if it is legal to incorporate your company in one country, and live, work and sell from another country (with of course paying the taxes in the country where I am living).

 

Thanks for your inputs.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to check about if it is legal to incorporate your company in one country, and live, work and sell from another country (with of course paying the taxes in the country where I am living).

This is usually done for tax evasion purposes. But with Impressum law you'll still need to comply. E.g. Impressum of Amazon (registered in Luxembourg):

http://www.amazon.de/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=505050

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll have to check in details, but I think for a company, you have to be compliant to the law of the country where you are incorporated (and if you are in Europe, to European law).

Imagine otherwise all the Abmahnung you could send to chinese company... ;-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imagine otherwise all the Abmahnung you could send to chinese company... ;-)

That's very simple: if this company regularly sends goods to Germany, they have to comply with German laws. Otherwise all bank accounts and goods will be seized (after Abmahnung, of course). So, there is no problem in enforcing the laws. If you don't ship anything to Germany then of course you don't need to comply with German laws (only tax laws, but that's it).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's very simple: if this company regularly sends goods to Germany, they have to comply with German laws. Otherwise all bank accounts and goods will be seized (after Abmahnung, of course). So, there is no problem in enforcing the laws. If you don't ship anything to Germany then of course you don't need to comply with German laws (only tax laws, but that's it).

That's not so simple. It was really fascinating reading about the international laws about this subject.

There was an attempt for a "Common European Sales Law" to solve this kind of problem, but it was cancelled in June :

Common European Sales Law proposals to be replaced as new consultation is opened on online sales barriers

 

So I think the current relevant law is this one :

Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I)

 

Basically, the seller and the buyer have the "Choice of Law", meaning that they are free to choose the law under which the contract between both parties has been concluded.

So as a seller, if you provide the buyer with the "terms and conditions" (including the chosen law) and he agreed, then the law governing the contract is the law mentionned.

 

Of course, there are some limitations (for instance in case of advertisement, in case of representatives, in case if the country is specifically targeted, etc.).

 

In case the contract doesn't mention the "choice of law", there is even a "Applicable law in the absence of choice" (Article 4) which specify :

a contract for the sale of goods shall be governed by the law of the country where the seller has his habitual residence;

 

So I would welcome any counter arguments, to prove me that if my company is incorporated abroad, that I have to be compliant to the german law if I want to sell in Germany.

 

That's a very interesting discussion ! ;-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest you take legal advice rather than relying on a chat forum or your own Googling  skills. €300 now could save you many thousands later.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I can see a lawyer. But that should not keep me from doing my homework first.

And to be honest, a german lawyer may be a bit biased toward german law.

 

But please have a look at Apple and Ryan Air impressum, and tell me what you think about them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apple doesn't even have an Impressum link and both companies don't give the director name.

Or am I mistaken?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Apple site the information is under "contact".

 

As I say, if you want a legally sound basis then you need to get professional legal advice. Bear in mind also the financial repercussions of not having an Impressum page; will people trust a website that doesn't have this basic information?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apple doesn't even have an Impressum link and both companies don't give the director name.

Or am I mistaken?

There is no requirement for the page to be called "Impressum". This is just a tradition. The only requirement that all the information should be "easily available". See http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/tmg/__5.html

 

will people trust a website that doesn't have this basic information?

Agree. Unless this is a well known company like Amazon, lack of Impressum is a scammer red flag. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everybody, I'm digging up this old topic as now it's my turn to try and understand the Impressum thing... :)

 

I've read all the previous posts and I'm still wondering about one thing: if the operator of a blog/website is a registered business in another EU country, do the same German regulations apply, or the law of the country of origin, or is there any general European law that applies?

 

In one of the previous posts someone pointed out that amazon, which is registered in Luxembourg, has its Impressum page, which would suggest that the German regulations do apply anyhow? By the way, does the Impressum page have to be in German if the page itself is only in English?

 

Did any one of you get legal advice in general in this topic of the Impressum?

 

regards,
Slawek

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you sell anything to German customers? If yes, Impressumspflicht also applies to you.

The law of your country applies in a sense that you do not need to register your business in Germany, but your Impressum should list where your company is located, under what law it operates, list the various business numbers from your country:

http://www.impressum-recht.de/impressum-bei-auslaendischen-webseiten.html

 

Quote

By the way, does the Impressum page have to be in German if the page itself is only in English?

I think, no. This is Impressum of The Local (a Swedish company), it is in English:

https://www.thelocal.de/contact

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now