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Website law and trading online

If you own or operate a website it is really important that you ensure that it is legally compliant, especially if you sell goods or provide any services through the site.

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Website law and trading online

The first step is to ensure you have a solid set of properly drafted terms and conditions. First and foremost, these are to protect you and your business. It is not enough to just have a set of terms and conditions of trade; you also need to have a number of policies relating specifically to the use of your website. For example, these should govern how users can actually use the site, how they can complain, your liabilities, and so on. These essentially form the contract that you and your visitors are entering into when your customer chooses to use your website and when you allow them to do so.

You also need a strong privacy policy and data protection notice. These tell users what you will do with the data, whether personal or not, that they provide you. In most cases you should ensure that your business is properly registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

It is also vital that you implement an intellectual property notice so as to tell users what intellectual property belongs to you and what they can and can’t do with it. For example can they print articles off for their own use, can the use the images, who owns any posts on forums, and so on.

All of the above should be well drafted to ensure the best protection for your business. It is all too easy these days to copy and paste documents and use them for your own business, but it is also very easy to make drastic errors such as stating that your terms and conditions are subject to Californian law when you only trade in England, or that you are limiting liability for things that you cannot in this country, such as death.

For advice regarding terms and conditions and policies for your websites, or any other question about website law, please contact our IT solicitors in Sheffield.

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For business law advice call 0845 225 2635

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