Online retail is an extremely simple, inexpensive way to explore a new revenue stream or expand your entrepreneurship. However, while opening an online store is as simple as creating a website, there are legal complexities you must understand.
Three legal challenges facing online stores
Opening an online store gives you power over the data of others. This position of power is a precarious place to be from a legal standpoint. You will have three major considerations ahead of you:
- Data protection: as a seller of online goods, you will process payments and house personal data. Addresses and credit card information are highly valuable targets, and you must take steps to keep that information secure.
- Fraud: Your customers’ data may be at risk, but you may also be a target. Fraudsters can – and will – attempt to manipulate your site for gain. You may receive fraudulent transactions and other aggressive and sophisticated fraud activity.
- European e–commerce directives: While your company may not be based in the EU, the EU’s regulations may still impact your website. You will have to understand how your business will interact with those matters.
These are complex legal areas, and you must ensure you take the appropriate actions to meet guidelines.
Finding guidance when you need it
In any complex legal matter, for any online retailer of any size, you must have skilled, knowledgeable attorneys. If they have extensive experience with overseas legal matters, that can be a significant advantage.