As a commercial provider and operator of stores on the Internet, you are obliged to create an imprint.
As a commercial offerer you are before the law a so-called service offerer and thus to the offerer marking obligation in the Internet, briefly: Imprint obligation, bound. This marking obligation results from the telemedia law (TMG). For the sake of clarity, the term "provider identification" is used in the following instead of the legally accurate term the word "imprint is used. We expressly point out at this point that in individual cases further information obligations may arise and this guide does not replace legal advice in any case. Here we show you why an imprint is necessary, who has to have one on their site, how to create one, what information you have to provide and where the imprint has to be located.
Reasons for an imprint
The imprint obligation results from the TMG and serves the transparency for the customer, thus the consumer protection. In legal and business transactions, commercial companies have long been obliged to list information, the TMG has made up for this obligation for electronic commerce. The imprint offers not only security for the consumer, but secures also a fair competition, while market participants receive mutually information and so a perfect competition is secured.
The Federal Ministry of Justice writes: "Whoever, as a telemedia provider, does not fulfill his provider identification obligation according to the legal requirements, is acting in violation of the law and can be fined (up to 50.000 Euro) can be prosecuted." In addition, injunctions can be sought, which would be particularly damaging to small and medium-sized enterprises because of the expected reminder fees.
The Ministry of Justice expressly points out that the risk of a warning letter cannot be completely avoided. Even the explanations on this page cannot provide you with absolute protection from being legally prosecuted for providing incorrect information. Ultimately, the courts judge whether or not there is a violation of rights in the individual case.
Create an imprint
Am I subject to the imprint obligation?
§ 5 TMG regulates the imprint obligation. According to this, "service providers who offer telemedia on a business basis, usually in return for payment" are affected have ready.
Service provider is after§ 2 TMG "any natural person or legal entity that provides its own or third party telemedia for use or provides access to use".
Telemedia are all information services as well as communication offers that are not telecommunications in the narrower sense or broadcasting. The Department of Justice lists websites and blogs, online stores, online auction houses, search engines, information services, and chat rooms as examples of telemedia. This also includes market.de and thus the commercial providers and store operators.
What exactly "Standby for use" The term "service provider" has not yet been conclusively clarified by the courts. According to some opinions, this also concerns users of online auction houses and classified ad portals. The Ministry of Justice therefore points out: "Even those who sell goods via an Internet auction house or other Internet trading platform are [. ] possibly a service provider." Furthermore it says: "The provider identification obligation must be fulfilled practically by everyone who provides an online offer. Something else is only valid for offers which serve exclusively private or family purposes and which have no effect on the market. In case of doubt, you should assume that the supplier labeling obligation exists."
What information do I have to provide?
Natural persons must provide the following information:
- Family name
- First names (at least one first name written out in full)
- complete postal address (postal code, city, street, house number; no post office box)
- Contact information (at least an e-mail address and another means of communication, e.g. B. Input mask or phone number, making sure that there is not only an answering machine)
Legal entities and partnerships i. S. v. § 2 TMG must provide the following information:
- Company name (written out in full; not sufficient are a P.O. Box or a postal code assigned to a large company; in the case of several branches, the main branch)
- Authorized representative (legal or legal business representative; if this is a legal entity, its representative until a natural person can be named)
- Contact information (at least one email address and one other means of communication, z. B. an input mask or telephone number, where it is ensured that not only an answering machine is switched)
Certain groups of service providers must provide additional information. Who is obliged to disclose which information is listed below.
- Services within the scope that require official authorization (z. B. catering operators, property developers, real estate agents), must name the competent supervisory authority (with postal address, even if no license has been granted)
- service providers that are registered in a commercial, association, partnership or cooperative register must indicate the register and the register number (also foreign equivalents, if available)
- If the service provider practices a regulated profession (liberal professions, health care crafts, as well as professions that are not regulated but in which the use of a title is subject to requirements, z. B. architects, engineers and health care professionals), it must indicate the following: 1. Chamber to which the service provider belongs; 2. legal occupational title; 3. State in which the professional title was awarded; 4. designation of the professional regulations and access to the professional regulations
- does the service provider have a sales tax identification number (USt-IdNr.) according to§ 27a of the Value Added Tax Act or a business identification number (W-IdNr.) according to§ 139c of the tax code, it must indicate the corresponding number
- if the service provider is a corporation (AG, KGaA or GmbH), which is in liquidation or winding up, this fact must be stated
Where must the imprint be found?
§ 5 TMG states that the imprint must be "easily recognizable, directly accessible and permanently available" must be. "Easily recognizable" it is, if it can be seen directly, resp. can be reached via an appropriately visible link. It should always the designation "imprint be used. "Immediately available" means reachable via a maximum of two links. If you have to click more often or if the information is only in the general terms and conditions, this is no longer directly. "Constantly available" means that the imprint must always be accessible on the website. It must not go offline and also not only z. B. be available on a separately downloadable PDF file.
Indication of dispute resolution platform and procedure
>>> The European Commission provides at http://ec.europe.eu/consumers/odr/ a platform for extrajudicial online dispute resolution (so-called. OS platform) ready.
[Firmenbezeichnugn] is neither willing nor obliged to participate in a dispute resolution procedure before a consumer arbitration board. <<<
As a commercial provider, you are required to create an imprint, which must be placed prominently on your site and must be directly and permanently accessible. Put also with market.de a commercial profile on and enter there all information.
Be on the safe side and provide as much and as detailed information as possible. Keep in mind that you can be legally prosecuted if you violate the imprint obligation.
Please note that this guide is only an introduction and has not been written by a lawyer. This article has not been checked for topicality, correctness or completeness. Laws and their application are subject to constant change. This introduction to the subject does not replace a consultation with a lawyer. If you have doubts about the correctness or completeness of your imprint, take professional legal advice.