An Impressum is essentially a statement of ownership and authorship. It was put into place to in an effort to protect user data, combat illegal content and spam by making website owners identify themselves, and as a result assume responsibility for the content on their platform.
Often when talking about an Impressum, people mean the German (DACH) version of compulsory information placed on a website.
Is an Impressum legally required?
The Impressum is legally required on all commercial websites published in German-speaking countries (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), whether the website is published via a .de top-level domain or not.
The point can be made that if you simply have a personal blog without ads and make no money from it, then the Impressum is not required.
we believe an Impressum should be a standalone page containing the information regarding the Impressum, this makes it easier to digest the information
Please remember that whether you choose to include an Impressum in the “Website owner” field or not, the “Website owner” field must include valid identifiying information.
Writing an Impressum: what information should contain
In the case of Germany, the Impressum is regulated inside Art. 5 TMG. Generally, an Impressum should contain the following information:
Name of the website owner (a business name is usually used here)
Registered address (please note that a PO Box – Postfach – is not considered to be a valid registered address as the owners can not typically be found there)
Valid contact information – phone number, fax or email address
If an activity needs official authorization, information about the supervising authority
Name of the individual legal representative (typically the owner of the website or the person managing the site)
VAT number or other equivalent state-issued number
Any additional trade registry or license numbers
Where the Impressum needs to be
An Impressum should be:
easily recognizable (call it “Impressum”)
If you choose to include the Impressum information within the owner section of the privacy, you must properly link to it as “Impressum” otherwise the placement may fail to meet the “easily recognizable” and “immediately accessible” requirements. It is for this reason, again, that we believe the impressum should go on its own separate page.
Impressum for Facebook Pages
Facebook offers a way for users to add an Impressum for user-created public pages. Even though there is no uniform way Facebook page owners can use the Impressum section, they generally provide these kinds of basic information:
Name of the business or organization
Address of the organization
Contact information (e-mail, phone number, fax number etc.)
Name of the owner or manager of the page and the organization
Registration and license number(s)
To add an Impressum to your Facebook Page:
Click About (or Page Settings with the new design) on the left side of your page
Click (Edit) Page Info
Find the Impressum section and add your info (the limit is 2,000 characters)
Click Save Changes
Your visitors will be able to see this information when they click the “About” link below your Facebook Page’s profile (see examples below).