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What is an ‘Impressum’ page and do I need one?

TL;DR – for a company not based in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, no, it’s not necessary.

But of course there’s more to things than this. Even if we’re not based in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, it might not do any harm to have one.

An ‘Impressum’ page on a website is a legal requirement stipulated by the German ‘Telemedia Act’, which requires websites to disclose information about the publisher. This includes their name and address, telephone number or e-mail address, trade registry number, VAT number, and other information depending on the type of company.

Go to any German-based company’s website home page, and you’ll see a link labelled ‘Impressum’. Here’s Volkswagen’s:

Click on the link and the resulting page is a clear listing of all the company’s contact details.

This might seem like a tedious legal requirement that nobody would ever look at. But all German companies know that the Impressum page gets a surprising amount of traffic. For small companies in particular, visitors know it’s a quick way to find out an email address, phone number or location without wandering around the rest of the site trying to find it. In other words, it’s a useful resource for those who know it’s there.

The words ‘useful resource’ should make us all sit up and take notice. We should all want to provide as many of those as possible. So all I’d say is: if your company does business in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, and your website is likely to be visited by prospects from those countries, why not add the ‘Impressum’ page they might be looking for?