Legal Must Haves for Your Business Website

The Internet has completely changed the world of a small business owner and their ability to advertise and sell their products or services. It is in fact rare to find any business today that does not have a website, but not everyone knows the legal ins and outs.

When we recently spoke to a client regarding their small business website, they had no idea that having a business’s website is subjecting the business to responsibilities and liabilities that might not have been previously comprehended.

However, like many small business owners they were not aware of the constantly changing e-commerce laws and tax liabilities that have a major impact on their business website.

It then occurred to us that despite the common occurrence of having a website, very few business owners actually understand the legalities they should clearly cover on their website.

The most basics of these very legalities are outlined below:

1. Terms and Conditions

The T&C’s are a contract between your business, and the user that engages with it.

Primarily it should include details of shipping and return policies, disclaimers of any liabilities, warranties or at the least a disclaimer of warranties (where applicable) for your products. Not to forget the copyright protection for your website.

T&C’s should also be shown at the time of purchase, usually at the checkout as a box that they can tick to agree to your set terms, before proceeding to buy the item.

2. Where a legal dispute will be resolved

The laws are sketchy when it comes to where a business website can be sued.

In some cases, there may be a possibility in which your business must defend itself from people in other countries if you advertise and sell products through your website where their country of residence.

You should include a consensual agreement in your terms and conditions declaring that all disputes must be settled in the courts of you the base country of the HQ of your business.

3. Privacy Policy

A privacy policy generally advises the user on your website of the information that it collects from them, how that information is used to complete any transactions or for marketing purposes, who it might be shared with, and what you intend to do to keep it safe.

When you do this it gives your website users confidence in your business and builds a sense of trust. You must also be aware that the contents of privacy policy may depend on the governing law’s of your country / state / county and to some extent, the nature of your website.

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