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5 Things You Need to Know About E-Commerce

  • 1More and more Australian entrepreneurs are leveraging the internet to build businesses. Running a business online is a great way to lower overhead costs whilst building your market base beyond geographical constraints. Obtaining the right legal framework can be a great aid to your business’s operating success.
  • 2Your business’ legal needs will depend on your business offering and business model. In our experience, in addition to having an appropriate corporate structure, most businesses operating online are supported by: i) a set of terms and conditions (tailored to the nature of the business) governing how that business interacts with its customers; and ii) a set of contracts that govern how that business interacts with its suppliers, contractors and other parties (e.g. developers) that make operating a business online possible.
  • 3Terms and conditions between your business and each customer are intended to govern your supply of goods or services. It can set out particular conditions regarding that supply and identify what is included and excluded. How these terms apply will depend on the delivery model of your business. If you operate in Australia, you should also be aware of your obligations under Australian Consumer Law and competition law in general.
  • 4Although having a privacy policy and ensuring your business complies with applicable privacy laws is not an issue limited to those who run their business online, it is an important issue to prioritise and address correctly. Many businesses collect personal information from their customers in order to supply services or fulfil their obligations.Many businesses also use this personal information for direct marketing purposes. A privacy policy can help inform your customers the purpose behind your collection of their personal information. An understanding of the applicable privacy law can help maintain customer trust and satisfaction, as well as help you manage your business risks.
  • 5When operating your business online, your products, web content, trade marks, logos or other branding may represent your intellectual property. These are valuable assets and you should take appropriate steps to protect them where possible through legal documentation. If you are using any third party intellectual property, you should ensure you have the rights to do so.