For you to start a business back in the days, you need lots of money and there are tons of paperwork you have to put in places before you can start operations.
But today, you can start an online business with little capital and sometimes no paperwork. All you need is a laptop, a website and how to receive payment. Online business and digital entrepreneurs are the future of entrepreneurship.
Even with an online business, they are still some rules and regulations you need to know. Some have a huge effect on your business and some minimal or no effect on your online business, so what are these online business laws you need to know?
A Trademark protects a different intellectual property from copyright and patents. Trademarks protect brand names and logo of the business. So if you don’t want others to copy your business name you need to file for a trademark and also check if you are not using a trademark used by another business.
You can get sued for using another business trademark and may lose all your customers changing the business name later. It is always an excellent practice to check if your business name is already a trademark of another company.
I am sure you don’t need anyone to tell you about copyright by now. This can hurt your business, including getting penalized by Google.
Copyright is the legal right of ownership of intellectual property. Copyright law protects the creator’s original work from being used without permission. Copyright is the right to reproduce the original creative work. You need the authorization to recreate someone else’s work so as not to violate the law.
If you get your written blog content, copy by others, you can set up a DMCA takedown.
Yes, an online business pays taxes too, if you have a business account and a register online business there is no avoiding it. But even without a company account, you still need to pay tax especially if you sell things online.
All states with their different laws so check the state law you are selling too, while in the EU you need to add VAT to some items you are selling.
Refund and Return Policy
Refund and return policy, inform buyers of your terms and conditions if they tend not to be satisfied with the goods, services or item purchases.
If you have an online store or you are selling something online, it is necessary to adhere to this online business law that requires you to have a refund and return a policy statement.
If you run an affiliate business, you need not worry about this, as the business would take care of this, but you need to know what the refund and return policy are to be on the safe side.
If you accept refunds and return or you don’t accept, you need to state it for the buyers to see. This online business law is being passed by Australia, the UK, America and other countries. So it is something worth keeping and it would also make your brand transparent.
- The information collected by the website or app
- The purpose of collecting the data
- Data storage, security and access
- Details of data transfers
- Affiliated websites or organizations (third parties included)
You can also include cookie’s consent on your privacy page or create a different cookie privacy page. The EU and some other countries require you to set up this cookies consent banner. There are thousands of plugins that allow you to create a simple cookies banner and you can check if your website follows the cookies consent law on cookiebot.
A lot of internet marketers are falling victim to the CAN-SPAM ACT law, if you don’t know what the law is all about, the CAN-SPAM ACT(controlling the assault of non-solicited pornography and marketing) law was first signed by President George W. Bush in 2003.
The law governs the way emails, newsletters, email promotions and any other email marketing should be sent. Email marketers know how spamming can affect their email list and business, but this law goes beyond just spam. The CAN-SPAM ACT is all about consumer protection, so keeping them would make your business or brand trustworthy.
Example of Some of these laws:
- Every email sent must have an unsubscribe (opt-out) option.
- Don’t use the false header
- A legitimate physical address must be visible
- If you send advertisement emails, make sure it says somewhere it is an ad.
- The subject line must reflect with the content of the email
The actual reason for SSL is to secure information between your website and the visitor, so if you collect sensitive information on your website, like username, password, credit card, visitor information you need an SSL certificate to make your website secure.
Most hosting and domains provide gives you SSL certificate for free and some charge for it, you can get a free SSL certificate using the Cloudflare CDN network, and other sites like WoSign, and sslforfree.
More reason to have an SSL certificate on your website is that Google chrome shows if your site is not secure and this can make you lose many potential customers.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a recent online regulation that was passed in January 2012 by the European Commission. This recent EU law applies to any online business that conducts businesses with EU citizens, they set the law to protect and put people in control of their personal information.
The online business law applies to anybody that offers goods and services customers and business in the EU. It is something to look out if you have or paling to expand your business to EU citizens.
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