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Business-to-business contracts made electronically

Business-to-business contracts made electronically

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If you're selling goods or services to a business customer electronically, e.g. online via a website, you'll need to comply with the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002. These regulations cover both business-to-business and business-to-consumer contracts.

Under these regulations, you must provide certain pre-contract information to your customer. There are also requirements about how the sale is conducted electronically.

Information requirements

Before an order is placed, you must provide the following information in a way that's easily and permanently accessible:

  • Your name and geographic address
  • Your contact details so a customer can contact you quickly and effectively, including your email address
  • If you're registered in a trade or other publicly available register (including the Register of Companies), details of the register and your registration number or other means of identifying you on the register
  • If you're subject to an authorisation scheme, details of the relevant supervisory authority
  • If you're a member of a regulated professional body, details of that body, your professional title, together with a reference to the professional rules that govern you and the means to access them
  • The price, whether it includes tax and delivery costs, and the relevant VAT number
  • Unless you've agreed otherwise with your customer, any relevant codes of conduct governing you, and where they can be accessed
  • For electronic contracts (unless the customer has agreed otherwise):
    • the different technical steps that need to be followed to conclude the contract electronically
    • whether you'll file the contract and how it'll be accessible
    • the technical steps to follow to identify and correct errors in the ordering process
    • the languages in which the contract can be made.

Other requirements

If you're concluding a contract with another business by electronic means other than by email, you must:

  • Acknowledge, without delay and by electronic means, that you've received the order; and
  • Give the customer the chance to identify and correct any input errors before they place the order.

This will be the case unless you agree otherwise with your customer.

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