Did you know that many signatures are legally insufficient? Company name, legal form, email address, icons with links – learn how to write an email signature that complies with regulations and still looks attractive, what guidelines and obligations apply and what to consider when designing it.
Duty to inform
According to the company code, all companies listed on the company registry are obligated to provide important information about the company in emails and in posting statements. There are also some regulations to consider in application forms and business letters.
The email signature should contain all the important information, ideally summarized and brief. On the one hand, the correct content and paragraph formatting, on the other hand, should be considered the design. If you do well, customers will remember you – what more could you ask for?
In order to achieve the goal of tagging customers, you must first clarify the essential elements that an email signature contains. The absolute requirements include the full name and company name including the company wording as per the company registry entry. Other related content:
Legally mandatory for everyone:
- registered office
- Legal form
- Company registration number
- Register the company in court
- If the company is under liquidation, this must be mentioned
There are more legal regulations for each specific legal form – more information can be found below.
- Business phone number
- Sender’s job title
- Maybe a working photo of the sender
- Icons for the most important social media channels including links to profiles or company profiles
- Company logo, may include logo
- Company website link
- A call to action, such as the associated registration option for your most recent webinar: “Register here now”
- Environmental Notice
The disclaimer can be included in the email signature, but should not be included. Their inclusion is not a legal requirement, but is often used to indicate the confidentiality of the information they contain. A disclaimer could look like this, for example:
This letter is addressed exclusively to the designated addressee or his representative. Please note that no form of unauthorized use, copying or unauthorized distribution of the email content is permitted. If you are not the intended recipient of this email or its representative, we ask that you contact the sender of the email and then this email and delete all attachments.
We also recommend that you inform your addresses that not every email needs to be printed – all together for more environmental protection. These are examples:
“For the sake of the environment, please check if it is necessary to print this email.” or
“Emails save time and money, not printing them saves trees.”
Compliance with information on legal form
There are different legal requirements for each type of company. The registered sole proprietor must state his full name if it differs from the entry in the Commercial Register. For example, “Eberle Sportcoaching” should also state the full name of the owner, eg Alexandra Eberle. With open companies and limited partnerships, the whole thing becomes more complicated. It does not help, duty is duty. Given the potential for high penalties for non-compliance with these Guidelines, now is the time to address the information obligations of the legal form. More detailed content is on www.wko.at.
To make your signature look professional, be sure to pay attention to your formatting. In addition, you can stand out from the crowd with an attractive and creative design and positively present your own brand – but be careful not to be colorful and overburdened. Keep the design simple and don’t distract from the actual purpose of the signature, which is information.
For a clear design, it is especially advisable to reduce the number of colors and fonts. To get an ordered structure, it makes sense to use tables or dividers. This creates an attractive, organized and clear design.
Note: The most important elements of the signature are the ones best suited to catch the eye.
Author: Clara Fischner
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