Online sales – what you need to keep in mind to avoid legal mines
In times of Corona when traditional commerce fails, more and more companies are switching to selling online and via e-commerce. In such transition, there are several legal issues to consider. This applies even more if you are going to launch in several countries.
Do you have the right to sell and market online – do you have the right agreements?
Initially, it is of course important to ensure that you don´t have any legal barriers or obstacles in your distribution and reseller agreements that limits your chances to sell online. Typically, it is difficult to contractually prevent online sales in the EU of products that were once marketed in the EU, but there may be some restrictions to active marketing. Furthermore, you need to make sure that your IT agreements and agreements with platform providers do not limit you.
When selling online, it is more important than ever that the company has the right term and conditions for the purchase. Things like delivery, defects and delays need to be regulated in purchasing conditions is quite obvious. If you sell to consumers, there are mandatory rules on the right of withdrawal that you need to inform about. If you fail to inform correctly, the consequence will be that the consumer gets up to one year´s right of withdrawal with the right to a full refund even though the product is used. It is also important that you inform about the consumer´s right to complain, for example referring to EU´s online dispute resolution platform.
However, there are further things that are important to include in the terms and conditions. If you sell to companies (B2B), it is important, among other things, that you consider what liabilities you want to assume, times for complaints and deadlines. Get help from a lawyer so you don´t miss anything important.
When the terms and conditions are properly written, you must ensure that they become a part of the agreement, for example by a clear reference to the terms by the checkout.
Personal data and GDPR
To be able to place cookies and use other technologies that enable, for example, retargeting and analysis, consent is usually required and that you provide correct information. Therefore, make sure that you obtain consents correctly and that you submit correct information both in your cookie banner and in your extended cookie information.
Information on the site – perform a legal review
Whether you are selling to consumers or companies, there are a number of requirements for information that must be found on the site. For example, you must provide certain information about your company and the payment options you offer. There are also rules on what information that must be provided for each product on the site.
Ordering process and checkout
There are legal requirements for what an ordering process and checkout should look like and how it should technically work. As an online retailer, you are responsible for meeting the requirements – not the platform provide. Also, remember that you need to fulfill requirements that exist after the purchase, for example by sending an order confirmation with correct information.
How can Delphi assist?
We at Delphi are experts in e-commerce and assist with the legal aspects in e-commerce, not least in an international launch. It is important that you do not start translating or locating a site to other countries before you check the legalities.
• Start-up meeting and strategic advice.
• Legal review of site
• Review or update of purchase terms
• Advice on online marketing
• Other issues, such as agreements, credits and intellectual property