Starting an E-Commerce Business = Take a look at Legal Aspects

The rapid internet and technology advancement and the increasing accessibility and connectivity has created mass opportunities for the E-commerce industry and there is no doubt of this being future way of doing the business.

In view of the massive outreach in which the internet has created, there has never been a better time to start on an E-commerce business and infact if you have not don’t taken any steps till date it is almost saying good-bye to your business. E-commerce refers to the business that uses the internet platform for sale of goods or services via electronic means. The following discussion will touch on some of the essential legal aspects when one embarks on an E-commerce.

a) Trademarks
Domain names are a huge part of the E-commerce businesses. Many businesses will register domain names that contain their trademark to boost brand recognition. When creating domain names, one should be cautious not to infringe the trademark of other businesses by creating domain names that will confuse the general public or induce the general public to associate the website with another brand. The only negative aspect of these domains is that one has to buy all domains to confirm their brands. For eg., /fireflieslegal,,,, etc. It is preferable to create a unique and distinctive domain name to avoid trademark infringement and also, more importantly, to establish a clear internet identity and to enhance brand recognition. Further, the E-commerce should register their trademark to deter and prohibit others from using similar or identical domain names. Should there be any unauthorized use of your registered trademark, as the proprietor of the trade mark, you are entitled to apply to court for relief (such as an injunction, damages or an account of profit) to be granted.

b) Terms of Use
One should also consider including a set of Terms of Use of the website which is a legal contract between the website owner and the users. The specifics covered in the terms would vary from business to business. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a legal counsel to ensure that the terms stated provide adequate safeguards for the business. It would be highly prudent to have the Terms of Use drafted to fit the nature of your business. As the website owner, the content and information on the site belongs to you and having detailed terms to inform the users of your intellectual property right can help to pre-empt and prevent potential infringement of intellectual rights.

c) Goods and Services Tax
In a business with a physical storefront, the collection of GST is straightforward. How then is GST imposed on E-commerce transactions? It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Taxation Expert to ensure that the methods of dealing with Taxation in regard to your business is being taken on all aspects

d) Income Tax
Apart from GST, another important tax consideration would be the imposition of Income Tax on E-commerce. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Taxation Expert to ensure that the methods of dealing with Taxation in regard to your business is being taken on all aspects


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