Business Text Messaging In The UK & The Law: A Beginner's Guide

In this guide, we'll showcase some of the best features of business text messaging. We'll explain the UK laws that apply to businesses sending texts and show you how you can use this technology to grow and improve your business.

Compare Business Phone Systems
Rated 4.9
Star icon
Star icon
Star icon
Star icon
Star icon
Google Logo

Trusted Partners

Business text messaging can help boost customer satisfaction, streamline communications and even improve cash flow. Texting is an immediate, professional and effective way of communicating with your customers, but there are specific rules that you need to comply with. 

Dividing line

What can you do with business text messaging?

Business text messaging lets you communicate with customers instantly. You don't have to waste time playing voicemail tennis or worry about important emails getting lost in cluttered inboxes. 

Text campaigns work best when a customer has already been introduced to your business and expects to hear from you. 

Here are some of the most common ways that UK businesses use text to engage with customers:

  • Appointment reminders: You can text customers to remind them of check-ups, property viewings, and other appointments. Reminder texts can be scheduled to go out 24 hours before an appointment, or you can send them on an ad-hoc basis. 
  • Deadline reminders: If customers need to sign off on a project milestone or submit necessary paperwork by a set date, you can text them with deadline reminders. This is especially helpful if emails are getting ignored or if calls are going to voicemail.
  • Schedule changes: Delays and last-minute meeting cancellations happen from time to time. If you're having the day from hell and you're forced to keep customers waiting at short notice, you can send a polite & reassuring text informing your customer of the new time. 
  • Invoice reminders: Business text is ideal for situations where a client's invoice is overdue, but you don't want to phone up and demand payment. Invoice texts are handy prompts that can't get lost in the inbox.
  • Quote reminders: If your business sends out many estimates for work, you'll know how hard it can be to get new clients to sign off on a quote! A quick text reminding prospects that they still need to accept your quote can help you get jobs approved faster.
  • Progress updates: Whether you're running a florist, MOT garage, or a dry cleaning business, you need to be able to notify customers when goods are ready for collection. A progress update text can speed up your fulfilment and reduce customer service complaints.
  • Repeat booking invitations: If you run a medical or veterinary business, you can remind customers to book a follow-up appointment 3, 6, or 12 months after their initial visit. Your customers will thank you for proactively helping them to keep safe and healthy.
  • Requests for customer feedback: If your customer promises to give you a great review, you can remind them with a text! Just make sure you have your customer's consent before you text.
Dividing line

You might already have mobile numbers for your customers on file, but that doesn't mean your business has a legal right to text them. First, you need the right to process their data.

The simplest way to text customers legally is to ask for their permission. When you send a business text to a customer in the UK, this is legally considered data processing. Under the UK's data protection laws, there are six lawful bases for data processing: consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task, or legitimate interests (source: For businesses, the critical lawful basis is consent.

By law, your customer's consent needs to be "knowingly and freely given, clear and specific" (source: You should ask your customer to opt-in to receive text messages (either by ticking a box, clicking a button, or giving written approval). 

Customers should understand what kinds of texts you're planning to send them. You need to ensure your business can be easily identified as the sender and make it easy for recipients to opt out of receiving texts in the future.

Dividing line
The VoIP phone system from T2k has saved us serious expenditure and has changed the way we work for the better.
Steve Knell -Altogether Care
on Google

Business texts and the law: ICO, GDPR, PECR

Before you start sending texts as a business, you need to familiarise yourself with three acronyms: ICO, GDPR, and PECR: 

ICO: The Information Commissioner's Office

The Information Commissioner's Office ( is the independent authority that protects data privacy in the UK. The ICO can help you understand and comply with the various data protection laws that apply to your business. 

Almost all UK organisations that handle personal data are registered with the ICO. Visit the ICO website to learn how, when, and why to register your business and appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) within your company:

GDPR (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act

UK GDPR, or the Data Protection Act 2018, is the UK's data protection rulebook. If your business stores customer data (names, addresses, emails, or phone numbers, for instance), or if your business sends marketing messages, then you need to comply with the laws set out in the Data Protection Act. The ICO website has a handy guide to UK GDPR, which is worth reading carefully. 

UK GDPR does not apply to communications with your EU-based customers. There is very little difference between the EU's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules and those of UK GDPR, but this may change in the future.

PECR: The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations

Any UK business that sends marketing messages by text must comply with PECR rules.

The Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations are similar to the rules set out in UK GDPR, but they focus specifically on electronic communications such as texts and emails. PECR rules are the UK's equivalent of the EU's e-privacy laws. Learn more about PECR here.

Dividing line

How to get started with business text messaging

There are several ways you can start sending out to customers, assuming you have their permission. You could do it manually, however, it wouldn't be scalable, and many of the benefits of sending business texts will be lost. 

The two more scalable ways are to either use an online service, where you can manage everything centrally or, if you have a VoIP phone system, such as the fantastic 3CX, to send out your messages. The latter is our preferred route as it means that you don't need to pass your crucial customer information to anyone, and you protect their data privacy rights.

Not all VoIP providers can offer business text messaging. Depending on how you want your text systems to integrate with your business software, you may need to opt for a hosted VoIP rather than a cloud-based service. Please talk to our team if you need help choosing the right solution for your business. 

Lee Clarke
Sales Director

Having worked for T2k for nearly 25 years, it's fair to say that Lee is an expert when it comes to all things telephony and business communications. Overseeing the commercial side of the business, he has helped the company evolve and grow through the decades. In recent years, and with the advent of VoIP and hosted telephony, Lee has made sure that T2k is at the forefront of technological developments. With a firm interest in helping businesses navigate the world of telecoms, Lee is responsible for the majority of the content on this website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Recent posts