There is a very low barrier to entry when it comes to running an ecommerce site. It is easier than ever to run a business when you do it online. The one thing that people tend to forget, however, is that it is like any other business.
Which means that you have to cover yourself against all kinds of threats like lawsuits to fraud and all kinds of other issues. Ecommerce owners tend to forget that for every purchase on their site, there is a person at the other end that may not have the best intentions. Or, your product may actually cause somebody harm.
It is very wise to have a lawyer before starting your site and even while you are running it as you are sure to face some legal issues. In this article, I will go over what you may need a lawyer for when running your own ecommerce business.
1 – Protect against fraud
Because the internet tends to be faceless, there are a lot of people out there that are looking to defraud you. It is much easier to do online than if you run a brick and mortar store.
For instance, if you are running a PPC ad campaign and you are not getting the ROI you expected, then you will likely be surprised when you run a click fraud report by PPC Protect. Chances are that one of your competitors is clicking your ads to run up your budget so you stop running ads and they take advantage.
Also, you may have paid an SEO agency to get you organic traffic to your site and find that they are running a fraudulent SEO practice giving you no results.
When you feel like you are up against some shady characters online, then you’ll need a lawyer to go after them.
2 – Protect your trademark
If you have a unique product or service and a brand built around it, then it is ripe to be copied. Some will rip you off so blatantly that they even buy the same product from where you have it manufactured and sell it themselves.
Or, you could have somebody use your logo without your permission to sell their own products. This is lawyer territory for sure. On your own there is not much you can do about these trademark infringers so it is best to leave it to an expert
3 – Stay on the right side of the law
You may be using some kind of software to streamline your business and not realize that it uses practices that are against local laws. For instance, it could be harvesting data from your customers and not give them access to know how their data is being used. In Europe and some US states this is illegal and you are opening yourself up to huge fines without even realizing it.
When you are getting started, make sure you talk to a lawyer about everything you plan to do as a business so they can carefully look through your plan and spot any areas that could pose problems.