To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 530-231-4949. This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through Avvo.com and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. Thank you.
There you go. Give the Internet lawyer a call.
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.
You are smart to realize that opeinging an e-commerce site requires knowing what the law requires.
Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.
1. Busines 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. Trademark - Start with a commmon law trademark "TM" and register your mark if you are successful.
6. 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?
7. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
8. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
9. 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. Feel free to give me a call to chat about any of these issues - NO Charge
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
My colleagues have it. If you take payment over the internet, you may consider contracting with an outside company to handle those transactions and reduce your exposure. Best of luck and please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance.
This information is designed for general informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship or provide legal advice.
The other answers have covered much of it. As someone who has handled FTC investigations and spoken with them on enforcement priorities, their mantra is that a data breach does not automatically trigger an investigation but that the absence of a breach does not protect you either if you are not providing adequate security for the type of data you are collecting.
Note that cyber insurance products are increasingly becoming more affordable, but be wary of the exclusions.
E-commerce Sole proprietorship LLC (limited liability company) C-corporation Business contracts Business documents Business insurance Business privacy laws Intellectual property Business cyber insurance Trade secrets Copyrights Trademarks Commercial general liability insurance Business Privacy law Internet law Consumer protection Copyright infringement Tax return