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.