Only perhaps a hundred other things. Here is a link to my legal guideline for some of them.:
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
Regards to your posting, you will want to make sure you have a written work-for-hire/assignment agreement between you and anyone creating content with the appropriate indemnification. This will ensure that all the underlying IP rights transfer to you under US law. But keep in mind the indemnification is only as strong the pockets of your provider are deep. That is, if you are using content providers located in say Pakistan to save money, what good will that do you if you are sued for copyright infringement?
I will link you to some general info below and suggest that you discuss your plans and objectives over with a lawyer in private. Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult so you may want to take advantage of that and get some insights.
The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. 866-871-8655 Support@LanternLegal.com DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.
Are You Planning on Opening a New E-Commerce Website?
There is much you need to know as you begin your new business. I suggest you do not attempt to write your own legal policies. This is not where your training and background lie, and though you are probably as smart as an attorney, you do not have their experience.
Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.
1. Business entity - Are you going to be a C corp, an LLC or a sole proprietorship?
2. Terms of Service - This is your contract with your visitors and is the most important item for any e-commerce site. A little work here brings big dividends in the future.
4. FTC guidlines - The FTC has been regulating business advertising for almost a century. All of their advertising guidlines apply to e-commerce sites.
5. Domain Name issues? Is your name available. Can you create a Trademark?
6. Trademark - Do you have a brand name free from conflict? Should you start with just common law rights? Should you register the mark, and when?
7. Copyright - If it is on the web, it already belongs to somebody. Did you buy a license for the images you are using? Do you have a DMCA notice on your web site?
8. Do you need a DMCA policy?
9. Web Site security issues?
10. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
11. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
12. Do you know the difference between a "browser wrap" and a "click wrap" and which do you need?
When I discuss this list with clients other issues arise. Finally, I always discuss with my clients their need for good accounting services. An accountant's advice as you start up can save you many dollars in tax that you might not save if you wait to speak to an accountant until your first tax return is due.
I hope this list will give you pause to think about those issues for which you might need to seek professional advice.
You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.
You face hundreds of intellectual property, internet law, privacy law and other issues. You cannot even think about setting up a web-site like this without working hand-in-hand with intellectual property and business counsel. A web-site like this cannot be safely run on a shoe-string. You are going into the publishing business and you have the same rights and responsibilities as any other publisher. Running a web-site like this is not for amateurs---it requires adequate financing---including budgets for professional services including accountants and lawyers. Your first step is to develop a business plan. Your next step is to retain counsel to conduct a patent, trademark. copyright and other IP clearance analysis to see if you can operate this web-site without obtaining licenses of IP rights from third parties. And your most important step is to raise the funds necessary to responsibly establish this business---which requires a business plan and investors. You should check into President Obama's major fund-raising break-through,. the JOBS Act, which helps start-ups solicit the funding they need from accredited investors.