5 Legal Things to Know Before Opening an Online Business

Posted May 5, 2020 by in Career
woman sitting on floor with computer

As the business market continues to grow, online businesses are becoming popular. Millions of people have turned to online businesses as a means to achieve financial freedom, and it’s a good idea. Owning an online business means you can work from anywhere in the world, and your business module can reach anyone with access to the internet. Online business growth is becoming so big that, in 2020, the number of global digital buyers will reach 2.05 billion.

Just like any other business, online businesses need to have some legal requirements met. Yes, legal requirements and regulations may not be exciting, but they contribute enormously to the success of your business in the future.

Below is a quick rundown of five legal aspects you need to consider before starting your online business:

1. Register Your Online Business Name

The name of your business has to be unique and memorable. Take some time to select a name for your online business. The name chosen must not infringe on the trademark of an existing business. You can do an online search to see what trademark names are available. If you find a name that represents your business module, and not similar to an existing business name, register it.

2. Get a Website

Your online business must have a website—otherwise, how will people access your brand? A website is the physical location of your online business, and to get a website, you need a domain name and a hosting package. A domain name is a unique name for your business and will help people find you.

It also has to be registered. Ensure the content of your website is copyright free to avoid infringing on someone else’s content.

3. Research Data Protection and Privacy Policy

Before launching your website, the payment gateway needs to be secure enough to safeguard personal data like credit card information. This improves the customer experience. After all, 84% of people will not make a purchase if the website is not secure. You also have to develop a good privacy policy to protect you from liability in case of breaches.

The call center operations of you online business has to be in line with call center regulatory compliance. This is because the call center of an online business handles a lot of sensitive data. This includes credit card data, personal health information, and any cardholder data. All contact centers of online business are legally obligated to follow compliance acts. You have to be PCI and HIPAA compliant because most online businesses are a target for data theft.

4. Get A License for Your Online Business

Even though your business does not have a physical location, you need a business license to operate it. Legal requirements of a business vary depending on where you live. The type of business permit required will depend on the online business you are doing.

However, most businesses need a general business license with special permits and licenses only given to those businesses that need to be specially regulated.

5. Understand The Shipping Regulations and Restrictions

There are certain items that need special shipping requirements. Shipping is the only way your clients get their purchases, so you need to learn about shipping regulations. All shipping companies have some restrictions according to the regulatory compliance on international shipping. Items that cannot be shipped internationally include:

  • Aerosols
  • Dry ice
  • Explosives
  • Nail polish
  • Poison
  • Perfumes with alcohol
  • Cigarettes

Fortunately, some of these products have restricted shipping internationally but can be shipped domestically. There are lots of domestic shipping companies and transport brokers that offer professional services at low quotes.

For instance, easycarshipping.com is a fast, affordable, and reliable shipping company dealing specifically with cars.

opening an online business

These legal requirements are vital if you want to start an online business. Maintaining transparency in your business and following all the set regulations for an online business will prevent any legal conflict.