E-commerce and online selling have revolutionised the way we shop and do business, particularly in the retail industry.

For business owners, taking products or services online can open up a whole world of new markets and lucrative opportunities.

But it is worth being aware that online sales, in particular those directly to consumers, are very highly regulated and it is essential to understand and comply with the law prescribing what must and must not be included in the terms of sale.

Your terms and conditions help to protect your business as well as your customers and typically include clauses covering who is responsible in the event of product failure, what your payment and delivery terms are, product information and warranties and the customer’s right to cancel their order.

Aside from the terms of the sale, there are a host of other legal issues and requirements which arise in connection with online sales.

For example, you must have terms of use for your website and you must publish basic details about your company on the site.

It is also essential that your business has an appropriate, bespoke privacy policy dealing with how you will use and protect personal information collected from customers or visitors to the site. This must comply with your obligations in respect of data protection and the GDPR.  An appropriate notice relating to the use of any cookies by the site will also be required.

Creating a fully functional e-commerce site might require significant investment. Before embarking on this you should ensure the business will own the necessary rights in relation to copyright in both the website and in any content uploaded to it.

If you have any concerns about the obligations or risks involved in expanding into e-commerce, it is important to take advice. Call our commercial solicitors on 01782 205000 or email enquiry@beswicks.com