Online entrepreneurship has soared over the last decade. Technology has pushed its insidious tentacles into every corner of our lives, from dating to connecting, banking, and most especially buying. The internet’s commercial sector has burgeoned, and most companies perform a large amount, if not all, of their transactions via an online platform.
These developments have made entrepreneurship much more accessible than it once was. Less capital is required to break into the sector, fewer contacts, and less experience. This means that many fail to display the same degree of legal knowledge as their predecessors, and this can be very dangerous for businesses who find themselves caught up in disputes.
It is for this reason that you ought to have some pre-developed legal procedures in place…
Understanding the Law
Legislation can be tricky to grasp for the layman, but any serious entrepreneur ought to familiarise themselves with the relevant regulations before they begin to trade. In the case of online sales, these fall into two distinct categories: traditional consumer protection regulations, and regulations designed with online businesses specifically in mind.
Traditional Consumer Protection Regulations
We’ll begin by exploring the former. Traditional consumer protection regulations were designed with the primary purpose of protecting purchasers. The Consumer Rights Act, for example, lays down rules regarding the quality of goods, and what can be done should these fail to meet a certain standard. The Consumer Credit Act protects their rights when they buy goods or services using a credit card. The trinity is completed by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations, which protects consumers from unfair terms. Other pieces of legislation exist alongside these, but these are the three that you should take the time to familiarise yourself with.
Online regulations have not been in existence for as long as their counterparts mentioned above. They were developed with the specific purpose of regulating internet business transactions, and protect those who buy either online or via telephone. Heavily based on EU directives, they include the E-Commerce Regulations, Distance Selling Regulations, and Electronic Signatures Regulations, all of which you should study before you begin your online empire.
The stipulations explored above are intended to cover any legal issues that may arise, helping both parties to determine where they stand. However, the law also requires transparency, and in order to fully comply with it, you’ll need to provide certain information to purchasers.
According to the E-Commerce Regulations, this includes:
- Your company’s name, postal address, and email address;
- Your company’s registration number;
- Your trade or professional association memberships;
- Your company’s VAT number.
You must make these clear before you begin to conduct any business online.
Legal stipulations and regulations can be confusing for the layman, but no online entrepreneur can afford to ignore them. If you find that you cannot make heads nor tails of them, turn to the professionals to help you. Enterprises like Withers Worldwide are experts in the area, and their specific skill and knowledge could save you from making a costly mistake if you’re struggling to deal with a situation. You’ll find that it’s often handy to pre-decide the company that you would like to use in the event of a dispute, so that you have their information to hand if you should find yourself in need of their expertise.
Set yourself up for success today by preparing yourself for tomorrow.