• Startups
  • January 26, 2022

E-commerce regulations - what you need to know

Launching a business in the digital economy requires business owners to be aware of certain e-commerce laws. No one expects you to have an intricate understanding of every type of e-commerce law, however, there are some key pieces of legislation and legal considerations you must be at least vaguely familiar with. 

In this short article, we explain which e-commerce laws affect online businesses and how they apply to dropshippers.

What are the e-commerce laws that affect online businesses?

The following pieces of e-commerce business laws are likely to regulate your online business:

  • The UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and Data Protection Act 2018: govern the protection of customer’s data, especially in terms of processing, storing, and transferring personal data
  • The Electronic Commerce Regulations: sets out how you must communicate with your website users, including the requirement to display your website terms and conditions, provide clear information on pricing and delivery charges, and identify the sender of any business communication
  • Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000: aims to protect consumer (the general public not B2B) rights in relation to online selling
  • Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR): governs the requirements around the use of cookies and direct marketing in commercial communications

There are other regulations you must be conscious of such as the Equality Act 2010, Employment Relations Act 1996, Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 2002. 

Do the above laws apply to dropshippers?

Dropshipping is where an online store sells products to consumers by purchasing what the consumer orders from a third-party supplier who ships the product directly to the customer. 

As a dropshipper, you do not hold or handle the items you are selling.

Dropshipping businesses are legal in the UK and therefore subject to all e-commerce laws and must pay tax.

Wrapping up

If you are selling any products or services online, you need to comply with e-commerce regulations.

Checking that your website complies with e-commerce legislation is very important. 

The best way to ensure your online business is compliant with relevant legislations is to build a trusted relationship with an E-commerce Solicitor to avoid any legal issues. 

This will provide you with the confidence that you will always have someone you can turn to for advice who understands your e-commerce venture and the market sector it operates in.

Get assistance from LawBite

LawBite is here to help you protect your business. 

Our expert lawyers can help you ensure you know the regulations that apply to your online business and you comply with all the legal requirements. 

Book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our expert lawyers to discuss your legal issues today!

Additional useful information

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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