Presence of Website: Functional and Compliance Aspect

PART I.

In this digital world, a website plays a very significant role in order to pursue your business or for any educational institution/programmes or might be for any noble service as well.

For instances, on receipt of a call from an interviewer, the first thing the candidate begins with on its Search Engines, is the presence of the company either by means of its website or on stock exchange or on money control. Further, immediately pre and/or post of its business meet with clients or customers or the party to the contracts either for a tie-up or any agreement or business proposal, the first and foremost they seek for your presence online. Let’s read out few basic detailing about a website, along with some pointers mandatory from compliance purview.

What is a website?

In laymen’s language; Website is an online presence of any organisation or even at personal level, which can be easily accessible to the overall world at one click. Website is collection of information and data been infused, related to different matters i.e. educational, informative, news, business, professionals and advisors, research, media, entertainment industries, etc.

Different types of organisation can be identified on the basis of domain been visible viz.

Government agency websites/ statutory authorities = .gov

Educational institutions’ websites = .edu

Non-profit organizations’ websites = .org

Commercial websites = .com,

information sites = .info

By means of website, which has an online presence in market, results in connectivity, an ease of doing business and reaching its target audience, being quick and also efficient as well.

How is it useful for new emerging business or well- established/emerged ones, by having their websites?

Utilization/ impact of having a website might include:

1. On online presence of the business by means of having its own website, shows creditability, genuineness and seriousness of the entrepreneur towards its business, as he can place all its business activities and other aspects in order to attract clients and other stakeholders.

For instance, if business is a start-up, the website been referred to the financial institution, which shows online presence and other details of the business, might help to raise funds on venture capital basis or any banking institution.

2. Organisation have an impact on networking with clients at worldwide level, being informative about the activities and instances of business been carried out. There is exchange of information, which leads to networking, which is 24/7 available at ease of access.

3. A lucid and clear website represents and is reflection of the brand value of the business, the way the organisation is been working and progressing on its path to attain its aim, to be specific, the detailing about the business, introducing the business and its connectivity is been displayed to the viewers and target audience shows the morality, its ethics and manner of earning. It creates impact on the viewers been hosted by means of website.

4. Your website presence helps you in spread of business, by means of networking, advertising, improving product quality and/or services, indeed helping in improving its goodwill.

5. The website is also a medium for advertising, since the world today believes in digital marketing, being competitive, i.e. cost effective to be precise and the business information reaches maximum number of potential audiences on a click.

6. Professionalism is one of the essential keys which is used as medium to measure authenticity and reputation of organisation, when there is so much of competition at national as well as global fronts. As website acts as representative of the organisation, the viewers are in search of quality been served, media presence, feedbacks, presence in world, brochure, its compliance status, etc. mostly well-established organisation needs to sustain and maintain consistency, of the quality of their website, consisting professionalism.

Security Practices:

The Critical factor of maintaining a website is its security measure. Business having their presence online, faces a worry of hacker’s attack, irrespective of small or big entrepreneurs/organisation. Website of the company holds several sensitive information; for instance, where E-commerce or payment gateway websites holds information pertaining to banks linked or card details; few websites are also linked with email id, which results in outbreak of email id, date of birth, phone number, etc. hence it is very important to secure our websites from various attacks like Malware and viruses, Spam mail, Search engine site blacklists, etc.

Few practices to be followed for security purpose:

1. An organization can complement the HTTPS security measures by installing a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. SSL security encrypts all communication between a server and a website user.

2. Cyber adversaries can target outdated software tools to exploit their vulnerabilities, hence frequent software updates are necessary.

3. Frequently changing passwords is a top password security practice. IT personnel should frequently change their passwords to lower the risks of an adversary cracking the password and same should not be shared.

4. With continuous and consistent monitoring, businesses can identify activities that indicate the presence of virus or other malware, therefore continuous monitoring need to be carried out of programmes which are running.

5. In order to meet security measures, organisation needs to make use of firewall, as it protects a website by blocking malicious connections that can compromise its security.

6. Hiring a security expert to guide for the same, the expert shall keep on providing its expertise information in order to safeguard the programmes and software of the Company attached with the websites.

7. PCI DSS Certification, is one of the compliances used as a measure where payment gateway systems are secured, it is a requirement for any business that processes credit or debit card transactions. PCI DSS certification is also considered the best way to safeguard sensitive data and information, thereby helping businesses to ensure that it is safe to have transaction with.

Being, target reader for the said article might be either who is newly into compliance of maintaining the website or start-ups or young professionals or entrepreneurs. Hence keeping in mind few pointers are been set down in lucid manner, the items to be formed part of the website.

The precise description about the Company with regards to the business, founder, what the company is into and since how long.

The next important yet minute factor would be logo of the Company, logo forming part of website shows the true identity of the organisation to understand the originality and known brands.

The viewer needs to know about the Management of the Company, there is significant importance of knowing a brief biography about the Board of Directors being executive or non-executive; their experience, qualification, and for how long the business is been handled by them. It’s also equally important to understand the expertise of the management.

Similarly, introduction of the teams and qualified and statutory professionals forming part of the organisation.

Comprising of Search bar and a proper and clear navigation, making it more user friendly; Make it Easy for Visitors to Get in Touch with You.

Selecting a web address which shall be unique as well as easy to remember

Use of CMS Tool i.e. content management system which results in avoiding duplication of articles and using unique information yet fact though.

Get Customer’s Reviews or a running tab which displays feedback or some quotes or experience of the customers or clients or service receiver. Which impacts and shows the positive impact on the stakeholders which might join in hands in coming future with the organisation.

The most essential information on the website viewers seek for is the Contact Information. It is important to add the contact information depending upon the departments and the presence of the company, i.e. branches of the office, warehouse spread, Corporate Office might be different from the place of business.

FAQ section i.e. there might be few questions or queries to that matter the viewer may have, in order to avoid frequent replying on same queries, Organisation may set few replies for frequent queries.

Putting up brochure on the websites is, making available the brochures on easy access, which is cost effective and also less time consuming. The only thing an organisation needs to keep in mind is the uploaded brochure should be a updated version.

Companies may also set up a common page wherein queries or suggestions or feedback of the clients or customer can be entered, which might reach the concerned person.

Having a page for career shows more professionalism and ethical towards upcoming career-oriented candidates.

E-COMMERCE IMPACT

In a digital world, E-commerce industry, having a widespread growth in India and overall world, after affordable and good connections of internet, wherein even small entrepreneurs have stepped in as boom. Being cost effective and can expand their market at huge level.

Further now there is a different urge towards E-commerce Company. Few additional sets of requirements in order to accomplish the website of e-com industries to be attractive and be competitive:

website of e-com industries

PART II.

Having a website is also as important from compliance purview, i.e. in accordance with Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosures Requirement) Regulations, 2015.

This move was considered to improve the amount of transparency between Organisation and key stakeholders of the company. One of the important factors of maintaining a website is to comply with the Corporate Governance, i.e. all rules, law and information in order to comply with corporate governance is in order to maintain the standards of transparency in the website. Also monitoring agencies would have a report on these standards.

Further disclosing the information, constitution and status of the organisation is to maintain trust, fairness and transparency for the best interest of the stakeholders, wherein the stakeholders shall be in cognizance of the information they have right to be known, educated pertaining to the business been carried out, also to be aware and alert for that matter.

There are particular instances and on corporate action, the compliance officer needs to comply with in pursuant to maintaining and uploading on the website of the Company.

Section of Companies Act, 2013

Section of Companies Act, 2013 related to websites

A company that is going for an Initial Public Offer (IPO) has to provide information regarding the IPO on the website.

In the same manner, there are few mandatory information a Listed Company, i.e. a public limited Company whose securities are been listed and traded by means of Stock Exchange in India or worldwide, needs to maintain, consistently and functional website, with regards to any change occurred in the Company.

In accordance with the Regulation 46 of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, every listed company needs to maintain and update the below mentioned details with regards to their own organisation, as section wise:

I. Business and Board of Directors

  • Details of the business, i.e. overview, activity pursued;
  • Terms and conditions of appointment of independent directors;
  • Composition of various committees of board of directors i.e. Audit Committee, Nomination and Remuneration Committee, Stakeholders Relationship Committee, Vigil Mechanism,
  • Code of conduct of board of directors and senior’s management personnel;

II. Various Policies:

  • Details of establishment of vigil mechanism/ Whistle Blower policy;
  • Criteria of making payments to non-executive directors, if the same has not been disclosed in annual report;
  • Policy on dealing with related party transactions;
  • Policy for determining ‘material’ subsidiaries;
  • Details of familiarization programmes imparted to independent directors including the following details:-

(i) number of programmes attended by independent directors (during the year and on a cumulative basis till date),

(ii) number of hours spent by independent directors in such programmes (during the year and on cumulative basis till date), and

(iii) other relevant details.

III. Contact person and number

  • The email address for grievance redressal and other relevant details;
  • Contact information of the designated officials of the listed entity who are responsible for assisting and handling investor grievances; i.e. Registrar and Share transfer Agent and Compliance Officer of the Company.

IV. Financial information including:

  • Notice of meeting of the board of directors where financial results shall be discussed;
  • Financial results, on conclusion of the meeting of the board of directors where the financial results were approved;
  • Complete copy of the annual report including balance sheet, profit and loss account, directors report, corporate governance report etc;
  • Separate audited financial statements of each subsidiary of the listed entity in respect of a relevant financial year, uploaded at least 21 days prior to the date of the annual general meeting which has been called to inter alia consider accounts of that financial year, if any.

V. Quarterly reports:

  • Shareholding pattern;
  • Corporate Governance Report

VI. Event based compliances:

  • Details of agreements entered into with the media companies and/or their associates, etc;
  • Schedule of analyst or institutional investor meet and presentations made by the listed entity to analysts or institutional investors simultaneously with submission to stock exchange;
  • New name and the old name of the listed entity for a continuous period of one year, from the date of the last name change;

VII. With effect from October 1, 2018, all credit ratings obtained by the entity for all its outstanding instruments, updated immediately as and when there is any revision in any of the ratings.

The listed entity shall ensure that the contents of the website are correct. The listed entity shall update any change in the content of its website within two working days from the date of such change in content.

Few further policies needed depending upon the perception of compliance officer and Management would be:

  • Archival and preservation of documents
  • Internal complaints Committee policy
  • Green initiative
  • Determination of Material Information
  • Insider Trading policy
  • Dematerialisation of Physical Shares
  • Work from Home Policy (which came out amidst pandemic situation of COVID-19, where in the company needed to upload disclosure in accordance with Regulation 30 – stating work places shall remain close with respect to extension of lockdown circulars.)
  • Material Information as decided by the Company or management and its designated officer

Conclusion:

A Logical Roadmap. Sure, a website should be aesthetically pleasing, but it’s more important for it to be useful.

Social Media Integration i.e. the presence of the company on various social media sites.

The website should be responsive to all devices, i.e. should open up well on mobile, laptop, desktop, etc.

SEO – search engine optimisation is one of the most important aspect as it helps in attracting your website or your programming, depending for the word being searched upon.

Last yet equally important, Website Hosting; access to others domain, initiating from registering to maintain and keeping a track of renewal so as to avoid chaotic situations with the registered domain or web address.

Thanks for reading

Hope it was useful

Disclaimer : This is not a legal advice and shall not be held liable for any action taken on the basis of above article. Aforementioned article is subject to amendments in the rules and regulations of the law.

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Qualification: CS
Company: N/A
Location: Maharashtra, IN
Member Since: 01 Aug 2020 | Total Posts: 2

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