Is your e-commerce store expanding to service the international market? Congratulations – this is an exciting growth phase for your business and brand! While you are branching out and testing the demand for your product overseas, it is important that you consider the legal implications of exporting your product outside of Australia. Getting it right from the onset of your expansion will set you apart from competitors. Below we outline some key legal considerations to think about as you export your product overseas.

1. Protect Your IP

Regardless if you are an established Australian business or newly emerging business, you will need to think about protecting your IP outside of Australia. It is critical to identify the markets where you envision your brand expanding and either file directly to these countries or leverage the multiple applications afforded to Australians by international treaties and agreements.

2.Existing Brand and Protection

Already have IP protection in Australia? Whether you have a patent, design registration or trade mark registered in Australia, domestic protection does not afford the same rights as if you had protections internationally. For instance, failing to protect your brand internationally could expose you to potential infringement against a competitor’s brand, or see competitors copy yours. 

3. New Brand and No Australian Protection

If you are yet to register your IP in Australia, you can often do it concurrently with your international application. If you register your patent in Australia, you have 12 months to file international patents under the Patent Corporation Treaty and if you register a trade mark or design, you have six months to file international applications.

4. Structure

It is important to ensure that if you are exporting your product overseas, you are now running your e-commerce business as a company. A company is a separate legal entity and a Pty. Ltd. structure ensures that your contain your risk and liability as an individual. 

5. Terms and Conditions

A well-drafted set of terms and conditions are important to display on your website and govern your relationship with your consumers. You should understand that different consumer laws will apply in different countries. Generally, however, your Terms and Conditions will set out the following:

  • Define payment terms;
  • Describe the goods;
  • Limit liability;
  • Set out the ‘Return and Faulty goods’ policy;
  • Dispute resolution, applicable law and jurisdiction.

It is important for you and your business to monitor the safety and quality of the goods you sell. It may be important to recall products should they not satisfy these criteria. The dispute resolution clause will ensure disputes are heard in the jurisdiction you specify (i.e. Australia).

6. Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

It is also important to display a Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to govern how website users use your site and limit your business’ liability.

7. Insurance

Check with an insurance broker to determine the optimum insurance protection you require.

8. GST

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will apply to your goods and services sold online through your e-commerce store if you are an Australian company selling to Australian Consumers in Australia. As a rule of thumb, the e-commerce space operates much like a physical store and if GST applies to these transactions, then it will apply online. When you are exporting your products overseas and the purchaser is located outside of Australia, then GST will not apply.

***

If you are an e-commerce store looking to break into the international market, it is important that you are mindful of your Intellectual Property and liability when servicing countries outside of Australia. Questions about your next steps? Get in touch with our online lawyers on 1300 544 755. 

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Sophie Glover
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at info@legalvision.com.au

View Privacy Policy