Politics and Business

Selling Online: How Legal Is Your Website?

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When it comes to selling products and services from a website, it can take you as little as ten minutes to get up and running with an online platform for your business. The Internet makes it convenient, cost-effective, and quick to sell things to customers around the world.

If you’ve just set up an e-commerce website selling products and services, you’ll doubtless be concentrating on increasing traffic to your site. But, have you thought about the legality of your website? Confused? Take a look at these points so you can check if you’re legal:

Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions

These days when people visit a website, you must make it clear to them who you are and what you do with their personal and browsing data. The way that you convey that information to visitors is through the use of a privacy policy and a terms and conditions statement.

The good news is you can easily create a privacy policy and terms & conditions. You could, of course, opt for the template route and customize them to your business needs.

But, if you’re serious about selling online and want to grow your business, it makes sense to have a custom one made up for you by a lawyer.

Your identity

When you sell products and services through a website, your customers need to know your details. Your business trading name, address, and other contact details should be visible on all content throughout your site.

In some parts of the world, if you have an incorporated or “limited liability” company, you must display that information by law.

If you’re a sole trader, you may not want random people on the Internet to have your home address and contact details. In those cases, you could register your business and rent a virtual mailbox. You can even pay for a telephone number that diverts to your home phone.

Data consent

When a visitor reaches your website for the first time, you’ll likely be storing information about them. Typically that information might be their IP address, physical location, and the date and time of their visit.

You must get those visitors to consent to you storing such data. It’s relatively easy to set up a data consent pop-up on your site. Plus, you can link to your privacy policy and terms & conditions page if visitors want to review your data usage policies in more detail.


Lastly, the sad truth about some websites that sell online is they don’t make their content accessible to all visitors. Sure, you should keep in mind that people will likely be seeing your site from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

However, you should also consider that some people browsing the Internet may use accessibility devices such as screen readers. Others may need to increase the font size of your text content.

Be sure to have a competent web designer check and test that your content is accessible to all visitors.

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