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Habefast | Blog
1 March 2023 - 3

Legal notices on a website in Switzerland

Habefast Blog Legal Notices On A Website

Do you want to create a website? Do you want to develop an online sales activity? Did you know that the legal mentions of your website are a point to take into consideration in your project? Our expert web and digital agency will help you understand the importance of this often neglected information and how to optimise it to ensure the legal compliance of your website.

What is a legal notice?

A legal notice is a statement of legally required information that companies or individuals must include on their website or official documents to comply with applicable laws and regulations. They may vary depending on the nature of the business or activity. Legal notices ensure the transparency and legality of a website. Their purpose is to protect the rights of website users and to ensure that website owners comply with applicable laws and regulations regarding online information and transactions.

Legal notices are mandatory for professional or commercial websites, but may also be required for personal websites if they are used for commercial or marketing purposes. Not displaying legal notices on a website can result in significant financial penalties. Indeed, in case of non-compliance with the legal requirements on legal notices, website owners may be subject to sanctions and legal proceedings, including fines, injunctions or criminal prosecution.

In Switzerland, e-commerce is subject to the regulations of the Federal Act against Unfair Competition (UWG; SR competition (UCA; SR 241) and the Ordinance on Price Indication (OIP; SR 942.211).In this article, we will explore the importance of legal notices for websites, the information they must information they must contain and the penalties for not complying with these legal obligations. respect of these legal obligations.


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Understanding the legal notices of a website in Switzerland

Did you know that the absence of legal notices can harm the credibility of a website in the eyes of its visitors? Indeed, beyond the regulatory aspect, they are also a way to reassure visitors to the site by providing clear and transparent information on its owner and its operation.

Our marketing and communication consulting agency advises you to include the following mandatory information on your website:

  1. Identity of the person responsible

    The first thing to display in your legal notice is the identity of the owner of your website. This can include the name of the company (legal entity) or the person who owns the website (natural person), as well as their address and telephone number.

  2. Contact details

    You should also include in your legal notice the contact details of your company, including an email address and possibly a telephone number. You can also mention the registered office. This allows website visitors to contact the owner if they have any questions or concerns. It is also recommended to indicate the FDI number or the trade register number as well as the VAT number.

  3. Purpose of the website

    The description of the purpose of the website can also be useful to understand the information presented on the website and to assess its relevance to the needs of your potential customers.

  4. Hosting of the website

    You should also indicate the host of the website, with its name, address and telephone number. This allows you to know who is responsible for the technical infrastructure of the site and to contact the host in case of problems.

  5. Intellectual property

    Don’t forget to include information on the copyright and intellectual property rights of your website, including any permissions or licences to use third-party content.

  6. Data protection

    The privacy policy should be published in the legal notice and should explain how personal data is collected, processed and protected on the website..

  7. Applicable law

    Finally, the legal notice should include the applicable law and the competent jurisdiction in case of a dispute. This may be important if a user has legal concerns about using your website.

Legal requirements may vary depending on the type of website. Online shopping sites, for example, must also include information about the terms and conditions of sale, payment and delivery terms, and withdrawal rights. You can also inform your visitors about the terms and conditions of your services. They are an essential step in the creation of a website, and can help build trust with users.

Why display legal notices on your website?

Legal notices are often neglected by website owners, yet they are a proof of professionalism and seriousness. The purpose of displaying them on a website is to comply with legal requirements regarding information and protection of users and to provide transparency on the company’s identity. The purpose of displaying them on the website is to comply with the legal requirements for information and protection of users and to provide transparency about the identity and activities of the company or website owner.

More specifically, legal notices allow to:

  1. Respect legal obligations

    Displaying legal notices is mandatory by law for professional or commercial websites.
  2. Guarantee transparency

    They allow website visitors to know the identity of the company or the owner of the website, its address, its tax identification number, company registration number, etc.

  3. Protecting users' rights

    This includes information on the protection of personal data terms of use of the website, limitation of liability clauses, etc., which help to protect users’ rights and avoid disputes.

  4. Avoiding sanctions and prosecution

    Failure to comply with the legal obligations regarding legal notices may result in sanctions and prosecution, including fines, injunctions or criminal proceedings.

What are the penalties for the new obligation to include legal notices on websites?

The penalties for non-compliance with the website legal notice requirement depend on the legislation in force in each country and may vary according to the seriousness of the offence. In general, failure to comply with the obligation to include legal notices may result in financial penalties.

In Switzerland, the Federal Data Protection Act (DPA) and the Unfair Competition Act (UCA) govern the legal notices on websites.

  • Under the Federal Data Protection Act, websites must obtain explicit consent from users to collect, process and store their personal data.
  • Under the Unfair Competition Act, websites must provide accurate and complete information about their identity, activities and products. Failure to comply with these obligations may result in financial penalties, such as administrative fines or criminal prosecution.