Do Business Online

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Setting up your business on the internet can be a lucrative way to attract customers, expand your market, and increase sales. These days it's common to have an enterprise that is entirely online. The steps to starting an online business are similar to starting any other business, but as e-commerce has grown there has been a significant increase in the amount of legislation that governs online businesses.

A Website Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use are minimum legal requirements, even if your website doesn't sell goods or services. A simple Email Footer and Disclaimer can help to project a professional image while also protecting confidentiality. Terms and Conditions for Online Sale of Goods set out the agreed terms of an online sale of goods or services between all parties involved and help to avoid disputes.

Website Payment Terms help you stay on top of your cash flow as they set out the conditions of payment. When you advertise online or rent online advertising space, use a Website Advertising Agreement to establish price, conditions of advertising, and length of agreement.

Whether you simply market your products and services online or sell goods or services on the internet, you must comply with various laws. Familiarise yourself with these rules and make sure that you are aware and well prepared.

Data Protection and Privacy

Data protection and privacy laws are crucial for online businesses that handle electronic personal data. Today, a Website Privacy Policy is a legal necessity. This agreement clarifies how personal data provided by users will be used and can avoid disputes concerning data privacy infringement. Mobile app providers can use a Mobile App Privacy Policy for the same purpose.

Terms of Use

A Website Terms of Use sets out the legal relationship between the website operator and users and ensures that users agree to your terms when using your website. These terms of use are designed for websites that do not act as a portal for buying or selling goods and services online. As a mobile app provider, it is recommended that you use a Mobile App Terms of Use. You can ask visitors to your website or app to actively sign up, for example by clicking a tick box, or simply have the terms of use accessible on your site. If you design and develop software you may want to provide a pre-release, also called beta version, to prospective customers prior to the official release of your new product. This can allow you to test your software and continue to modify it. If your product is still in the testing phase, you will need to warn users about the risks associated with it. You can do this with a Pre-release Software Terms of Use, which sets out a number of disclaimers and warns users of the risk inherent in using beta software.

Email Footer and Disclaimer

An Email Footer and Disclaimer can be used for various purposes. It can help to prevent breach of confidentiality if information is leaked by the recipient, or it can help to keep your business from being held liable for the content of emails sent by your employees. In certain circumstances, it will state who regulates your business (such as a law firm being regulated by the Law Society). An email disclaimer can therefore have a legal purpose, but it can also serve marketing purposes by projecting a more professional image.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions for Online Sale of Goods set out the rights and obligations of your business and your customers when you sell goods or services online. Terms and conditions typically cover details such as ordering, delivery, pricing, payment method, guarantees, cancellation, and liability. Terms and conditions should be presented clearly and accepted by customers before a sale is closed. If you are not selling goods or services online but you act as a portal, you will still need terms and conditions. In this case, use Terms and Conditions for Online Marketplace.

Payment Terms

Website Payment Terms specify how the customer or client will pay. Neglecting to include payment terms could impact your cash flow if payments are delayed. You may then have to spend time and money on credit control and debt collection. Late payment is a fact of life for small businesses. With the right Website Payment Terms in place, you can ensure that you get paid as agreed.

Advertising Online

Online advertising is one of the most effective ways for businesses of all sizes to expand their reach, find new customers, and diversify their revenue streams. A Website Advertising Agreement sets out your rights and liabilities as a website owner when an advertiser wishes to advertise on your website, as well as your rights and liabilities as an advertiser when purchasing advertising space on a website. It covers details such as when and how the advertising space can be rented, how much it will cost, and what the liabilities are regarding the content of the advertisement.

Website Design and Development

Whether you're a business that needs a new website or a developer that provides website development services, you will need a legal contract to set out mutual expectations. A Website Design and Development Agreement allows you to set out the requirements of the website, the scope of work, the cost and payment arrangements, the timescale, and what happens if performance is not satisfactory.

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