The Most Important Things for Legally Correct Email Marketing: Part 1: The Legal Notice

The legal notice is often the stumbling block for promotional emails and this can lead to customer dissatisfaction, loss of reputation and fines.

Yet it is quite easy to create a legally correct legal notice.

First, some background: What is the purpose of a legal notice?

The information provided in the legal notice should ensure a basic level of transparency and protection for the consumer and strengthen trust in e-commerce. The rules for this can be found both in EU law (the so-called EU E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC) and in the national transpositions, which in Germany primarily involves the Telemedia Act (TMG). From February 2024, new regulations will apply with the Digital Services Act (EU) and the national transposition laws, about which we will provide more information.

What are the minimum requirements for the legal notice content?

  1. The name and postal address of the sender or contractor
  2. In the case of legal entities, the legal form (in Germany, for example, GmbH, OHG etc.) and the authorised representative (in Germany, for example, Managing Director, Board etc.)
  3. Specifications of the register in which the legal entity is entered (in Germany, for example, commercial register, register of associations, etc.)
  4. Value-added tax identification number or business identification number
  5. Contact information: Always include an email address and, additionally, either a telephone number or a contact form

In addition, there are further requirements for regulated professions and special regulations under German law – for example, for activities that require authorisation.

With regard to the requirements of the clauses 2 to 4, the corresponding national specifics of other countries within and outside the scope of application of EU law must be taken into account. What must be clarified here: Are there national regulations in this respect and do they result in obligations regarding the publication in the legal notice of commercial emails?

Furthermore, the commercial character of the email must be clearly recognisable (no concealment as a private email).

More detailed information is available in our new Directive for Permission-Based Email Marketing

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