Do you need an Impressum?

What is an Impressum

You want to do business online in Germany… you need an Impressum!

What is an Impressum

You may have seen a link on almost every German website called the Impressum, it is a mandatory page that is required on all websites published in German speaking countries (even if the domain is not a .de).
It is essentially a page that discloses information about the publisher of that website, similar to an Imprint.  It was done in an aim to fight spam, data protection and illegal content and conduct on the Internet by making webmasters disclose who they are – but it has also created some problems regarding the privacy of webmasters.

It became compulsory in 2002, and in 2007 was altered specifically for the online sector with the implementation of the Telemediangesetz (Telemedia Law).

The word Impression itself has no direct translation into english, the closest words to it would be something like a privacy policy or imprint.

Do you need one?

You need an Impressum on all commercial websites in Germany, Austria and Switzerland – so if you want to do some SEO here you require one.  But that also means that if you run a personal blog with no advertising and make no money from it, then you do not need one.

In a recent ruling it was decided also that if your business/website has a social media page than it too must include an Impressum, which made things interesting on Facebook.  It has a section called ‘info’ where webmasters started including all the impressum details, but the problem here is that the link title to an impressum page must be called impressum!  But you can easily enough find plugins that enables you to build a totally separate page on your facebook page titled Impressum – you can see this page on our Facebook page.

What do you need on an Impressum Page

The main points that are required on an Impressum page include;

  • Publishers name
  • Address
  • Telephone number or Email
  • Trade registry number
  • VAT number

Other rules about the Impressum Page;

  • It must be called “Impressum” – imprint, privacy, contact or even Webimpressum are not acceptable
  • It should be accessible from within 2 links from the homepage

Examples

You can see the link at the bottom of this page to our Impressum page – https://www.manfredk.com/impressum/

Here is our Impression on our German website – http://www.ostseewebagentur.com/impressum/

Even Google needs one – http://www.google.de/contact/impressum.html

Help with an Impressum Page?

If you are thinking about entering the online business world in Germany we can give you some help with your Impressum page and other SEO needs you require – please contact us for more information.

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