As an ecommerce entrepreneur looking to launch a new online sales business, you will be full of great ideas and big plans for your website. However, you may not have considered the various legal documents that you need to have in place to ensure the venture succeeds from the outset.
In this article, we will be discussing the main pieces of legal documentation that are relevant to the world of online sales and why these documents are important to your business.
Terms of Business
One of the most critical documents is your Terms of Business. This document sets out the entire legal framework as to how you will do business with your customers.
The Terms of Business is a detailed document and should ideally be professionally drafted to ensure your business is fully protected. You will want to make sure that you have covered off all the aspects that ought to be included, including payment terms, delivery, warranties and liability etc. The customer should have the ability to read the terms before purchasing and you may also wish to include a suitable tick box to confirm their acceptance to the terms.
You also have to bear in mind your customer base. The appropriate Terms of Business for a consumer-facing ecommerce site is quite different than for business-to-business (B2B) sales, particularly with regards to matters of consumer protection.
A robust Terms of Business document helps ensure that your business is well protected in all areas, whilst at the same time giving your customers piece of mind that they are buying from a professional and transparent online business. In the event of any issues arising with your customers, your Terms of Business will allow you to resolve such issues in an efficient and timely manner.
- your reserved rights,
- website security measures,
- intellectual property rights in the images and content,
- usage of any trademarks,
- liability waivers,
- rules regarding linking to the website, and
- the applicable laws
By preparing the key documents in advance of launch, you can ensure that your new ecommerce business is legally compliant from day one. This allows you to focus on sales and business growth knowing that the legal aspects are covered. As your business scales and changes over time, you should revisit these documents to ensure they continue to reflect your business accurately.