12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

Learn How to Use These 5 Must Know Tips to Make Your Facebook Business Page Unique

After deciding to go ahead with taking your business to the next level it will be vital that you set your mark or the tone for your business by making your Facebook business page unique. There are several ways to do this, but you always want to make sure that the site is professional and helpful at the same time. Here are five tips to help you make you Facebook business page unique:

1. Popularity Content

The more common way that a Facebook page will make new friends are due to common friends, or friends of interest. There are roughly 150 friends per Facebook page currently, and the majority of these are all going to be connected to one another through common friends of interest.
While there are connections to other social network sites, it is possible to make your Facebook business page unique in connecting this page with other social network sites like Twitter for an example.

2. Fan Yourself Silly

If you are hoping to see all of your friends also become ‘fans’ of your business, this is going to be crucial in your attempts to creating a Facebook business page that is unique and different from your competitors. Offer something special for those friends or customers that do go through and become a fan of your Facebook page. On average other Facebook users only become a ‘fan’ of a page or business twice during a 30 day (or monthly) period.

3. Create a Unique Facebook Business Page

Work on activating the friends you currently have into fans rather than focusing on adding more and more friends. Friends and customers are always great to have, but take care and tend for the ones you have and recruit them from friends to fans. This can be done by creating an overly unique Facebook business page. The average fan site will have 10,000 fans.

4. What You Say Not How Often You Say It

Keep up on your posts and add new blogs, advice or stories in correlation to your business, but keep in mind that it’s not going to be how much you log in and report on your Facebook page, but in order to make your Facebook business page unique you will need to offer unique advice, services and opportunities to clients and future consumers depending on your business or services. Don’t just pitch your products or push the hard sell because this is just the place for it. Remember that Facebook is all about building relationships.

5. Customized News Feed

When you are adding new information it’s important to keep a watchful eye on what kind of information you are going to be putting on your site. The newest addition to Facebook is the ability to customize what kind of news feed is displayed on your page. This will allow you to make your Facebook business page unique and offer you the opportunity to set yourself apart from other businesses services or organizations similar to yours.

How To Start My Own Online Business in 5 Simple Steps

In the current age, the internet has become one of the most powerful money-generating tools. Personally, I am one of the beneficiaries of the internet. Well, before I got my breakthrough, I was always keen on how to start my own online business. At first, it seemed impossible, but today I can testify that it has been a fruitful journey so far. That said, I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to help you achieve your goal and be successful with your online business.

1. Decide what you want to do

One of my answers of how to start my own online business was to choose what I preferred to do. I chose affiliate marketing. Why did I go for it? Well, it is somewhat easy to run, and you will not be needed to have thousands of dollars to start it up. All you need to have is a well-established website that can attract huge traffic.

2. Choose your niche

Yep, you need to choose this before you carry on with your business. Before you think of the niche to stick with, you need to ensure that you have a passion for it. As I thought about how to start my own online business, I went for health and fitness products because I am and have always been a health freak.

3. Develop a website, If you don’t have one, yet

A website is similar to your traditional shop when it comes to online business. You may not be able to run an online business smoothly without a well-developed website. In my case, I already had a website, so I only needed to add valuable content for my website. I had a blog that I wrote about health and fitness tips, which I then included a link to the products of my clients. Since I already owned a blog, it made me think of how to start my own online business.

I started earning $5 per click, and that was good money because I received around 1,000 visitors in a month. $5,000 a month is good money, especially because I worked from the comfort of my home.

4. Promote your website/Page

One downside of an online business is that you must keep your website active every single day for you to stay on top of the search engine result pages.

Now, back to my story. After learning how to start my own online business, I had to maximize my online presence. Social media was my first target because that’s where most internet users are found. There is one unique product called Facebook for Business. Through this product, I managed to reach out to many people, and I also got some insights of bettering my business. Email marketing is another option that I’m sure it can help you with your online marketing. Online marketing also helped me in my quest on how to start my own online business.

5. Learn the legal obligations

Just because you’re your own boss and you do things your way doesn’t mean that you should ignore the legal obligations. You must be keen to understand the legal guidelines that you must follow as your carry on with your business. After I had progressed further on how to start my own online business, I had to learn about the most recent FTC regulations. These rules are important in the affiliate marketing field.

Websites Push Up Business Worldwide

We live in a world where one’s needs are met from all corners of the world. The world has gone seamless like the Universe itself. In this world e-commerce is becoming as important as the nearest store in your street corner.

There is more than one reason why internet marketing or e-commerce is growing worldwide. One is the phenomenal growth of computer and broadband use. Second, the web business allows customers not only go shopping around the globe and check prices, it also allows them to order what is not in store. Thirdly, online shopping is the safest because the system allows just the store and customer in its system.

The physical store does not usually record the whims and fancies of the customers. But website could map every trace of fancy of a browsing customer and record his likes and dislikes and pamper to his needs quicker than a brick-and-mortar store manager could ever do. In fact, a good website is your business MASCOT.

Safest, surest
Many are still not aware that there is more security when it comes to purchasing online. When you purchase offline, there’s a possibility that someone misuses your credit card. But in online shopping, all your personal information, like user name, passwords, credit card number and transaction history, is encrypted so that they cannot be read as it travels over the Internet.

Industry majors have been reporting in select forums how their websites helped business in a variety of ways. Agreed that face-to-face dealing is the best in anything, website proves the second best option. And, website is there 24×7 and one is free to walk in any moment he chooses.

Websites boost business, says Report

Periscope IT, market leading providers of website monitoring services and load testing services, in the UK and abroad said a new study has highlighted the importance of websites to small businesses, suggesting they boost their revenue by a significant sum.

The report from PayPal and Mr Site revealed that having a website can boost a firm’s annual turnover by as much as 37 per cent.

Cameron McLean, PayPal’s general manager for UK merchant services, said that an online presence is increasingly important as online sales are bucking the downward trend seen on the high street.

“Not having a website is like leaving your shop-front boarded up or refusing to tell customers anything about the services you provide,” he added.

Again, many small companies rely on the web to achieve business success, according to another new research.

The IT Effectiveness Index (ITEI) Mid-Year Report 2009 highlighted that two-thirds of businesses questioned felt IT and web commerce were the foundations of their business, yet, worryingly, many are falling victim to failing IT operations.

A well-conceived website is a great goodwill generator, an ambassador and salesman all rolled into one to vouchsafe for you 24x7x365. Start your website today and feel the difference.