Every business has to deal with a lot of legal hurdles but the shift toward online shopping has opened up a whole new world of legal complications. There is an entirely different set of laws for anybody that’s selling products online and you can get yourself into some sticky situations if you find yourself on the wrong side of them, even if it’s a genuine accident. This is a particular problem for people that have recently expanded their business into the online world because, if you’re running everything in the same way you were offline, you’re probably breaking some of the rules. To avoid any legal complications in the future, read this guide to the legal hurdles faced by online businesses.


Taxes are tricky at the best of times but if you’re selling goods online, things get a whole lot more confusing. If, for example, you’ve got one physical shop, all of your taxes are paid according to the rules of that country. As soon as you start selling to other countries, you have to consider the tax laws over there as well. You also need to consider which country the business is registered in etc. Unfortunately, every business will be different depending on what countries they sell products in and where they are registered so the only way to really know what taxes you should be paying is to speak with a professional and get their advice on it. You’ll have to pay for their services but it’s not worth trying to work it out on your own because you risk getting a big fine if you mess it up.

Handling Data

The way that companies handle data has been brought into question in the last few weeks in the wake of a scandal about Facebook and their use of customer information. At the minute, new laws are being debated and it’s likely that there will be a change in legislation soon. It’s important that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect information and also letting customers know exactly what you’re doing with it. That means you need a legal company like Pinder Reaux to draw up terms of use statements that appear on your site when customers visit so they have the option of seeing exactly how you’re using their data. If you don’t supply this information, you’re in breach of the law. It’s vital that you keep up to date with laws as they change as well because legislation is likely to become more strict over the next few months.

Trademarks And Copyright

It’s fairly easy for somebody to come to your site and take written content or even start trading under your name, using your logo. That’s why trademarks and copyright laws exist, to give you a legal avenue if that does happen. But if you haven’t trademarked your name and logo and copyrighted anything that goes up on the site, there’s nothing you can do. This should be the first thing you do when you set up the company. It’s also worth remembering that you might unknowingly be trading under a name that’s already registered so check thoroughly before the site goes live.

If you don’t consider these legal hurdles you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law, resulting in big fines and in more extreme cases the company might be shut down altogether.

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