QUESTION: Dear Cathy, I plan to import various beauty products from Turkey and sell them through a website. I’m careful to follow the law so is there any advice you can give me?
Dear Regina, I’m glad you brought this up, because believe it or not, there are a lot of legal issues to consider when setting up an online store.
First of all. To avoid premium rips, get a proper contract with the web developer to govern key issues like website, domain, and content ownership. I know people who have been blocked from their websites when the developer refused to give them the password.
The second is the choice of domain name. Care must be taken that the domain name does not infringe on the brand of others. The last thing you want for your business is to get into a dispute over domain names.
These disputes are increasingly frequent and the World Intellectual Property Organization indicates that it has handled around 57,000 domain name disputes.
Avoid the temptation to choose a domain name that looks like an established brand to direct traffic to your website. This act is known as cybersquatting and can land you in trouble with a well-known brand.
After choosing your domain name, the next thing to consider is strategy issues. What kind of website do you want? Is it purely informative? Is it transactional? You need to know your processes before you even design the website. Is there a process that will be web-based? How does this process relate to other processes?
For example, if an order is placed through the website, how do you communicate that order to the guys upon delivery? If your customer makes payments online, how will receipts be issued? What I’m just saying is that you need to have your strategy and processes written before you even design.
Transactional websites require more detailed professional cybersecurity advice, particularly if payments are to be made through the website. Sales of Goods Law and Consumer Protection Law will apply to all transactions made through the Website.
Therefore, ensure that e-commerce processes comply with the law. For example, once a customer places an order and payment, a legally binding contract is deemed to have occurred and you will be obligated to deliver. That’s why it’s crucial that your processes comply with the law.
The legal issue from the above step is to make sure your website has legally binding policies and documents. Please do not download certain terms and conditions for you from another website! You need to have tailored and tailored policies, terms and conditions that suit your business.
As simple as it may sound, in the event of a dispute with your client, the terms and conditions are what the court will consider in reaching a decision. It’s a contract, make sure it’s valid.
Content is important, but it’s equally important to have content that doesn’t infringe on another company’s content. Three years ago, I acted for a company that won a website plagiarism case. The defendant had copied the plaintiff’s website verbatim to the point of copying diagrams that our client had designed.
Critical success factors for your website include design and marketing. For this, you will need to talk to a web developer and a digital marketer to position your website and drive traffic to you.
Ms. Mputhia is the founder of C Mputhia Advocates. She is a partner of the Sinapis Entrepreneurship Program and legal director of SMEThinkTank