You might have seen a link on almost every German website called the Impressum, and it is a mandatory page required on all websites published in German-speaking countries (even if the domain is not a .de). Here, it is essentially a page containing information about that website’s publisher, similar to an Imprint.
Here, it was necessary for 2002, and in 2007 was due to altering the online sector with the application of the Telemediengesetz (Telemedia Law).
Do you need one?
Here, you have an Impressum on all commercial websites in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland – so if you need to do some SEO here, you may also require one. Still, that also means that you do not need to run a personal blog, make no money, and have no advertising from it.
What do we need on an Impressum Page?
Here, the main points, which requires on an Impressum page include;
- Publishers name
- Telephone number or Email
- Trade registry number
- VAT number
- Other rules about the Impressum Page.
Hence, it must be called “Impressum” – imprint, privacy, contact, or even Web Impressum are not acceptable.
Thus, it should be accessible from within two links from the homepage.
Impressum legally required?
The Impressum also legally requires on all commercial websites published in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) whether the website publishes via a .de top-level domain or not.
Hence, it can also make the point that if you have a personal blog without ads and make no money from it, then the Impressum is not required.
Impressum for Facebook pages:
Here, Facebook’s recent addition of an ‘Impressum’ field to their pages is a precious resource for business owners, allowing them to integrate a site notice into their social media platform. Thus, when supplying further contact details can help all businesses, this extra text field is beneficial to those with offices in German-speaking countries.
In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, omitting an Impressum could result in disciplinary action. It has caused significant problems for some companies in the past, prompting Facebook to finally introduce the ‘Impressum’ text field in 2014, specially designed to cater to these laws, gives all users an easy and legally watertight area to include all the required information.
Are there legal consequences for not having an Impressum?
It largely depends on where you locate.
Impressum laws for business pages:
Impressum (more commonly referred to as site notices, legal notices, or mastheads) are optional and rarely implemented. The German Telemedia Act (TMG) specifies precisely which information should include and how it can be presenting.
Therefore, the obligation to provide identification applies to all ‘business-orientated online presences, except for purely private pages. Thus, not all business owners are aware that this law also concerns social media presence.
Hence, you may create your Impressum of the website blog for business purposes. You will be clear about the Impressum law points for the business page on Facebook.