Are You Planning on Opening a New E-Commerce Website?
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. 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.
Please feel free to contact me concerning your issues (No Charge.) I also offer a new client special to perform this work.
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.
I've worked on several Affiliate and lead generation websites similar to your planned site. If you are hiring writers to create content for your site, you are liable for the content. Chief among these issue involves regulations pertaining to expert testimonials and affiliate linking to commercial products. The FTC has an. Excellent guide on these issue and delineates your obligation in providing adequate and timely disclosures for each such affiliate relationship. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to some advice in this area.
The above response is for general education and information and does not constitute a legal advice. Please consult with an attorney. For online, mobile and advertising law, contact http://www.web20lawyer.com
While you are free to hire any lawyer you wish, I feel its always better to hire a qualified lawyer in your geographical area. They are more familiar with the laws in your home state and on occasion you may want to meet with them face to face. Especially because you are in LA County, you have a ton of great lawyers you can find through Avvo who can assist you. Look for those that say they deal with e-commerce and internet law. Good luck
The answers given are informational only and do not constitute legal advice. Please feel free to contact me if you want to obtain legal advice from me.
Please note: this answer is intended to inform and educate. It should not be taken as legal advice or a legal recommendation, as that would require a thorough review of all facts and circumstances. You may discuss the possibility of hiring me as a lawyer, but until we have an agreement in writing, there is no attorney-client relationship between us. Thank you, and good luck!
You neet an Internet lawyer that is also a Business Attorney, which most are. You will need a significant amount of legal work, such as work-for-hire/copyright assignment agreements so you own the content, you will need TOS, EULA, DMCA agreements, etc. See my legal guide on this linked below. And, I provide a link to my free page on Internet law resources at http://www.burdlaw.com/webnet.html
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.
E-commerce Sole proprietorship LLC (limited liability company) C-corporation Business contracts Small business regulations Business advertising regulations Business privacy laws Online business law Intellectual property Copyrights Trademarks Business Privacy law Internet law Business compliance Consumer protection Copyright infringement Tax return