Issue 2, 2007

New EU Laws for Business Email

The EU Directive 2003/58/EC is required to be in force in the European Union member states as of December 31, 2006. In practice, this means that the same information disclosure requirements now apply to business email as to physical business letters. Companies registered or operating in the EU now need to state their company details on every electronic business communication sent from their organization. The goal of the directive is to make company information transparent and easily accessible. Under the directive, business email messages sent by a company should include:

  • The full name of the company and its legal form
  • The place of the registration of the company
  • The registration number
  • The address of the registered office
  • The VAT number

Exactly what types of email messages fall under business letters is not clearly defined. Transactional email messages are considered business letters. However, it is always a good practice to include clear sender information in the email bottom banner. The U.S. CAN-SPAM practice also requires the sender's valid physical postal address in commercial email. As always, the EU Directives are implemented according to the individual legislative bodies that govern EU member states. As the EU directives must be transposed into national laws, we recommend you consult with local EU experts on further information disclosure requirements.

Tip: If you are using email lists for your electronic business communication, then you can conveniently add your company information to the LISTSERV bottom banner. You can easily update your bottom banner using the LISTSERV® Web Interface. Use the pull-down navigation menu and follow these steps: List Management > Customization > Mail Templates > Bottom Banner

LISTSERV Screenshot


European Law:

Directive 2003/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 amends Council Directive 68/151/EEC, as regards disclosure requirements with regard to certain types of companies.

Directive 2003/58/EC:

Directive 68/151/EEC:

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