According to experts, ecommerce is now a trillion-dollar industry that is growing substantially every year. In reports generated from the U.S. Census Bureau, Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, and others, there are more than 100,000 ecommerce retailers in the United States alone. This shows there is a tremendous opportunity to start your own ecommerce website. However, to be successful, you need to speak to a qualified attorney first.
The great thing about ecommerce is that it serves small mom-and-pop shops and Fortune 500 companies alike. Although the assistance of an attorney is not required to start your own site, because of complex legal issues, it is highly recommended. Having legal guidance will ensure that the appropriate security measures are in place to safeguard your customers’ payments and personal data.
In recent years, the world watched as large corporations like Citigroup, Sony, Target, and others experienced major breaches. As a smaller company, a breach could easily devastate your business to the point of extinction.
Your attorney will work diligently on privacy and security in protecting your company’s proprietary data, financial transactions, and customer’s sensitive information. The attorney can also assist with creating a plan so that online employees are properly trained in dealing with confidentiality.
Some of the additional ways an attorney will benefit your ecommerce website include:
- Because both technology and governing laws change frequently, you might overlook something critical while trying to grow a new online business. Your attorney will stay on top of these issues on your behalf.
- Regarding trademarks and tradenames, your attorney will make sure that competitors do not use what you have already legally established as part of their SEO campaign.
- When comparing an ecommerce website and a brick-and-mortar business, there are some different rules and expectations. By hiring a reputable attorney who has experience and expertise in this specific field, you avoid violating laws created to protect employees.
- To avoid being sued for copyright infringement, your attorney will do the necessary work to ensure that you either own the copyright or have permission in the form of a license to use information and/or the likeness of another business on your site.
- Advertising is another area of importance. Current state and federal government consumer protection antifraud laws include online advertising. Therefore, you can never use misleading advertisements.
- Many places impose use and/or sales tax on companies that run online businesses. To avoid making mistakes and paying high penalties, you need an attorney.
- Just as a traditional business must adhere to laws against price fixing, competitor blocking, and monopoly, as the owner of an ecommerce website, you are held to the same legal standards. A reputable attorney will review your ecommerce website and business structure in detail to determine if any antitrust issues exist.
Having an ecommerce website professionally designed is the easy part. Prior to the official launch, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney so that you start this new venture the right way.