I am building a contact page for a website that caters to a German audience and was wondering which word makes more sense for a "contact us" page.

I was browsing various websites in Germany and noticed that they have those two different words for same type of page.

Please note that the website is for a medical manufacturing company.

  • 1
    Kontakt is where larger sites could provide a contact form or (email) address, store locator, maps etc., but some just try to guide the user to a FAQ there, so as to reduce manual support costs. Impressum has to provide a valid physical address and more for legal reasons. It’s often useful to include the imprint within the contact page.
    – Crissov
    Jun 18, 2014 at 10:37

2 Answers 2


A contact page is a page designed to give your users the opportunity to contact you.

An Impressum is a page that fulfills the legal requirements of Germany and people the opportunity to contact the people responsible for the site. ON big site there might be different addresses for webmaster and so on.

You are required by law to have an "Impressum". It may vary in content depending what kind of site you are having but the lack of an impressum or a page that contains the respecitive information can lead to high fines. You should definitely take care there and maybe consider getting legal advice.

Most if not all bigger businesses have both pages so I'd recommend doing so too.

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    @JGallardo.. you need to pay attention there and do it right. Maybe do some search or see if you can ask in a legal board. Companies have been fined thousands for a missing line.
    – Emanuel
    Jan 16, 2014 at 22:05
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    @JGallardo: If the site is commercial, having an Impressum is a good idea anyway – be it legally required or not. I only did not want the common misbelief uncorrected that every site must have an Impressum stand uncorrected.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Jan 16, 2014 at 22:12
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    @Emanuel: as far as I know, you need to have an Impressum in case of commercial or journalistic content - but that's a pretty broad concept and could be triggered by having ads, blogging, a book recommendation, etc; so better err on the side of caution
    – Christoph
    Jan 16, 2014 at 22:39
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    @Wrzlprmft Note that an imprint is required for every web site in Germany! Only the content differs between private and commercial sites. To avoid legal consequences, you must include an imprint. Jan 17, 2014 at 5:40
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    @Wrzlprmft In Austria it's actually the case. Even for private pages. If you don't have an Impressum you could be sued. Something competitors like to do. It's cheap for them to report you and you have to pay a view thousend euros.
    – schlingel
    Jan 17, 2014 at 12:30

German law regulates that every web site (be it commercial or private) must contain an imprint that can be viewed using a "reasonable number of clicks" (whatever that means... details in the below edit). Only the content (required information) given in the imprint may vary between private and commercial sites. There are "imprint generators" on the web which create an imprint for you based on information you fill in.

I quote the "Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz":

Die Anbieterkennzeichnungspflicht muss praktisch von jedem, der ein Online-Angebot bereithält, erfüllt werden. Etwas anderes gilt nur bei Angeboten, die ausschließlich privaten oder familiären Zwecken dienen und die keine Auswirkung auf den Markt haben. Im Zweifel sollten Sie davon ausgehen, dass die Anbieterkennzeichnungspflicht besteht.

This quote sounds like private pages should contain an imprint, but don't have to. However, earlier in the same document it says:

Diensteanbieter sind nach §2 Satz 1 Nummer 1 TMG natürliche oder juristische Personen, die eigene oder fremde Telemedien zur Nutzung bereit halten oder den Zugang zur Nutzung vermitteln [...] So ist praktisch jeder Online-Auftritt ein Telemedium.
* Telemedien sind zum beispiel private Websites und Blogs, Online-Shops, [...]

While an imprint is mandatory, a contact page is not! The imprint must contain information on how to contact the owner of the site, so there's already a way to contact you. Most pages, however, contain more convenient ways like a contact form.

As requested:

The document I linked to above says

§ 5 Absatz 1 TMG gibt vor, dass die Angaben leicht erkennbar, unmittelbar erreichbar und ständig verfügbar gehalten werden müssen.

It explains "unmittelbar erreichbar" as:

Unmittelbar erreichbar sind Angaben, die ohne wesentliche Zwischenschritte aufgerufen werden können. Nach der Rechtsprechung des BGH kann als gesichert gelten, dass das Erreichen einer Internetseite über zwei Links in der Regel kein langes Suchen erfordert und als unmittelbar gilt.

  • I'll provide a different quote in addition. Jan 17, 2014 at 8:35
  • Can you cite where "reasonable number of clicks" can be found? I am a web developer and I'm wondering if I can include the Impressum and any other legal documents inside of my side bar navigation which is accessible form every page.
    – Dan Kanze
    Jun 18, 2014 at 0:33
  • Yes, I'll edit my answer. Jun 18, 2014 at 7:12
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    @RRZEurope no it doesn't. An American passport does not equal immunity
    – Emanuel
    Jun 18, 2014 at 14:24
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    Well, if you want to do business in Taka-Tuka-Land, you better stick to their rules. As I said I'm not a lawyer. I just quoted what's being said in the Telemediengesetz. Jun 21, 2014 at 8:37

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