Start an eCommerce Business and make sure it is legal
Seems like a strange title, doesn’t it? After all, the chances that you start an eCommerce Business with the purpose of breaking the law are probably pretty low. We’re sure your intentions with your eCommerce business are good and pure!
But it can be trickier than you might think to stay within the confines of the law with your online store. There are so many articles out there these days that make starting an online store sound like the easiest thing to do on the planet. But there are a lot of things you may not have considered your business is sticking to the law. Here’s a quick guide to the most important rules you have to follow in your new venture.
Actually sending the items as described
Seems like a really obvious one, right? None of you are actively planning to send a customer, say, a banana when they ordered a PlayStation 4. (Right?) But you need to be really precise when it comes to item descriptions. If there are any discrepancies between the product description and what the customer receives, then you could be in trouble. If it was found you purposefully deceived them, then it may not be a simple case of refunding or replacing. The law can come down hard on you! Always be honest and as informative as possible in item descriptions.
Keeping a clear refund policy
There are many services out there that like to throw around the phrase “NO REFUNDS” before customers purchase a product. But the problem with this is that its application is pretty limited. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling: if it isn’t fit for purpose, the customer has a right to a refund. Make sure you provide refunds in certain circumstances. If there are any reasons why you wouldn’t be able to provide one, make that clear before purchase.
Protecting customers’ data
It’s critical that you keep your customers’ data safe. In order to make a purchase, a customer will be giving you all their payment details as well as their home or work address. As you surely understand, this is sensitive information.
If you ever allow it to fall into the wrong hands, you can be on the receiving end of a severe lawsuit. You need to be providing the most secure payment services possible. You should also ensure your Internet security measures are perfect. You need to prevent cybercriminals attempting to gain access to data from your end.
Dealing with the government and national revenue services
You can’t just start an eCommerce business on the side and let the moolah roll in without telling anyone. When you start any type of business, you need to register that business with the government.
In the UK, this should also see you getting the right tax code from HM Revenue & Customs. Business owners in the United States will have to get the correct tax codes separately with the Inland Revenue Service. In any case, make sure you’re recording all the profit you’ve made so you can get taxed correctly at the end of the tax year.