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The Biggest Legal Hurdles For Online Retailers

The Biggest Legal Hurdles For Online Retailers

Becoming one of the many successful online retailers seems easier than ever, which means that a lot of people with little to no business experience are opening their own online retail store. That’s not a bad thing and so many of them go on to be incredibly successful, but a lot of people struggle because they don’t have that experience.

According to the NSW Department of Fair Trading:

“Online retail sales are growing rapidly each year with Australians currently spending more than $11 billion annually. Almost three quarters of these sales are made with Australian retailers.”

When you open a business, you throw yourself into the unknown and you’ll quickly realize that there are so many details that you didn’t even think about. The big one is the legal connotations of owning a business and a lot of online retailers slip up on them. To help you avoid running into trouble, here are the basics.

Minimum Advertised Price for Online Reailers

One of the biggest complaints that brick and mortar stores have about online retailers is that they offer low prices that their stores simply can’t match. Manufacturers often take a lot of heat over this and it can lose them customers. To avoid this, a lot of them have started introducing a minimum advertised price; the contract you sign forbids you from selling their product for any lower than the set price. The problem is, the prices change and if you don’t adjust accordingly, you could get in trouble. Luckily, you can get software that will keep track of it for you so you don’t miss anything. Getting your team to do it manually is way too inefficient. Click to learn more about MAP monitoring software and how it can help you. Always have good contact with your manufacturers as well so you can keep on top of any changes.

The Biggest Legal Hurdles For Online Retailers
The Biggest Legal Hurdles For Online Retailers

Registering Your Company

A lot of online companies start out when people start selling products that they make as a hobby. There’s not always a clear point when you become a business. People often end up operating illegally because they didn’t register when they should have been. If you sell a few old things on eBay, you don’t need to register, but the minute that you make something with the specific intention of selling it, you legally have to register as a company.

Data Protection for Online Retailers

Data protection is one of the biggest problems for pretty much any company. When you’re selling products online, you’ve got access to a lot of sensitive customer information, including people’s credit card information. There are very specific laws around how you should handle that information and what you can and can’t do with it. You have to be especially careful that you aren’t giving it out over the phone without doing the proper security checks. As well as getting yourself into some legal trouble, if you mishandle information it can have a huge effect on sales. Ask yourself this, would you put your credit card details into a site that had previously lost the details of thousands of others?

Starting a new business isn’t just about the broad strokes like product development and marketing, you’ve got to deal with all the legal nuts and bolts as well, otherwise, you won’t make it far.

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