The legal notice in compliance with the CSA

  •  23.01.2020
  •  Judith Wester
  •   Online Marketing Expertise

Everyone knows it, but not everyone has it: The Legal Notice in the Newsletter! Here are a few tips on how a CSA-compliant legal notice should look like.

A missing or wrong legal notice can lead to high fees. In the course of the legal examination of the CSA certification process, the Certified Senders Alliance (CSA) repeatedly states that the legal notice in newsletters is often times not designed to be legally effective. This is why we would like to give you some valuable guidelines as to what you should pay attention to in the legal notice:

Why is a legal notice required?

The obligation to provide a legal notice is intended to ensure at least a minimum of online transparency, information to protect consumers and to increase confidence in e-commerce. The respective legal regulation can be found in § 5 of the German Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz / TMG) and § 55 of the State Treaty on Broadcasting and Telemedia (Staatsvertrag über Rundfunk und Telemedien / RStV). The duty to provide information serves in particular to establish identity in order to facilitate possible legal proceedings in the event of a dispute. Please note: For the legal notice regulation it makes no difference whether the information is displayed on a website or sent regularly by email.

What has to be included in the legal notice?

  1. Name and address of the service provider, name and address of the branch office. Legal entities must also indicate the legal form and the correct and complete company name, as well as the name of the legal representative.
  2. If the teleservice is offered or provided within the scope of an activity that requires official approval information on the responsible supervisory, the responsible authority must be provided.
  3. Details of the commercial register, register of associations, partnership register or register of cooperatives in which the providers are registered along with the respective registration number.
  4. The VAT identification number or a business identification number, if available.
  5. Specific information on AGs, KGaA and GmbHs for: Stock corporations, partnerships limited by shares and companies with limited liability that are in the process of being wound up or liquidated.
  6. Give at least two contact details enabling a quick electronical and direct communication with the provider. We recommend: Address, email address and telephone number. An electronic request form can also be sufficient as a direct communication tool. But be careful: if the replies to inquiries through a contact form take too long, you should definitely include a telephone number. If you have a fax number, this can also be listed in the legal notice.

Where should the legal notice be placed?

  1. Easily visible: The provider identification must be recognizable and marked as such. Therefore use a font size that is easy to read. Concealing the provider identification in the general terms and conditions is not sufficient.
  2. Instantly accessible: At the end of each newsletter, the mandatory information required under § 5 of the German Telemedia Act (TMG) must be included and marked " Legal Notice", "About Us", "Provider Identification" or similar.
  3. Always available: The legal notice must be permanently available. While the language of the imprint is not predetermined, there should be no intentional impediment either. The content of the newsletter and the information in the legal notice must be in the same language.

If you are not sure whether your legal notice meets all legal requirements, you should consult a lawyer.