A Guide to Online Business Laws

Naperville small business law attorneys, online website, Gierach Law Firm, online sales taxation, entrepreneurs, business owners, customer privacy laws In the past 20 years, online businesses have become a powerful force in the global economy. By setting up an online website to attract and distribute goods to customers, entrepreneurs and business owners are discovering the financial benefits to operating an online business in lieu of/in conjunction with a traditional storefront. However, like all things in life, online businesses come with significant risks which can threaten the lucrativeness of the business’s endeavors. However, an awareness and understanding of online business law-related issues, such as copyright, privacy, security, and taxation, will allow you to sufficiently protect and secure your online business.

Customer Privacy Laws

When a customer inserts personal data, such as their credit card number and address, in order to purchase goods and services on your online website, they are entrusting you to protect and secure this data so that is not exploited or otherwise viewed or utilized in an unlawful way. Thus, it is important for you to understand the relevant state and federal privacy laws as they apply to your online business.

These privacy laws can vary depending on what sort of goods and services are offered by your online business. In addition to being aware of privacy laws, you will want to have business functions in place that make sure customer information cannot get into the wrong hands in order to prevent identity theft and other frauds. Lastly, a customer privacy policy should be placed on your online website so that customers understand how and in what way their personal data will be used and stored.

Digital/Copyright Infringement Issues

In addition to the protections awarded to private customer information, copyright protection laws must be followed by online businesses. Copyright laws come into place when you post any text, music, arts, movies, or any other digital data that is copyrighted or otherwise the property of another. and you have not receive the legal permission to utilize such digital works. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides protections that prohibit the use of certain electronic information that is published on the Internet.

Online Sales Taxation

Sales tax collection is a simple process when you own a business with a traditional storefront. However, determining whether you are required to collect sales taxes for your online website will allow you to avoid state and local taxation penalties that could result from non-collection. With regards to state and local sales taxes, you will be required to collect such taxes if you have a physical storefront in a state, in addition to your online business. As long as there is no nexus, ie. physical presence, in the state, you will not have to collect online sales taxes in order to comply with state and local tax laws. If you are still unclear whether you should be collecting a sales tax for online purchases from your website, it would be a good idea to contact a small business law attorney.

While an online business is a great way to jump start your business dreams or expand existing business operations, online businesses come with a specific set of guidelines and regulations that must be followed. Thus, if you have any online business law-related issues, please contact the Naperville small business law attorneys at Gierach Law Firm today.