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Making Sure Your Online Business is Legal

Nicole Dominique Le Maire Business Survival Strategies
2 Jul 2014 BLOG_NUM_COMMENTS

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Did you know that over 95% of online businesses fail within the first two years?

That means that around one in twenty new businesses will be a success and turn a tidy profit and that there is massive potential to make large amounts of money online. There is, however, an increasingly serious risk of making the kind of mistakes that could see your business close down.

20140702-entrepreneurfail-CofounderNeededNoToonsThe total volume of spending that takes place online is similarly amazing. Most experts are talking in the range of something over a billion dollars a year. There are several driving forces behind this explosion in online business.

The first of these is a growing willingness of the consumer to buy and spend money online. At the same time, it is becoming easier and more secure for the consumer to make online purchases as many hundreds of well-established businesses set up their first sales enabled websites, and began to accept credit card payments online.

However, there are risks involved that you may not know about and there are things that you should do to protect yourself from losing everything in the process.

Did you know that the courts are levying increasingly heavy fines, they don't care if you didn't realize you were doing anything wrong. By not knowing the basic laws you could get yourself into trouble completely by accident.

Although there is a wealth of reliable information online. The simple fact of the matter is when it comes to protecting your online business you shouldn't rely on second hand information or other woman entrepreneurs for legal or accounting advice.

When it comes to legal matters, in particular, you will need to look for a professional that understands the nature of running a business on the Internet. Try doing a search for "lawyer Internet law" and you will find several resources that can help you track down a qualified professional.

The scary but simple truth is that the majority of woman entrepreneurs who are working their online business part-time never give a moment’s thought to the fact that they should be declaring their online earnings and paying tax on them. This is a very big mistake to make, especially in jurisdictions like the USA, UK and Australia where the taxation authorities have almost unlimited powers that they can invoke against anybody who they suspect of tax evasion. Keep in mind that tax laws differ from country to country so you need to know exactly what the rules are where you live.

To keep your online business safe you will need to have some basic legal documentation on your website. Chances are that you've been to many websites and seen these types of legal documents, but didn't realize that your website needs them too!

Well, you do! As a matter of fact they are a very important part of your online business safety. If you are running a website without certain legal documents to protect yourself, you may be leaving yourself and your business open for more trouble than you ever bargained for.

It is also very important that you are completely clear about what the product can and cannot do. Be sure state any special skills or knowledge that people may need to have in order to use the product in the way that it is implied on your sales page.

I would also recommend that you are completely honest and forthcoming especially if additional resources are needed in order to make your product or system work properly. Even if you are just offering a free gift in exchange for somebody subscribing to your mailing list, you should tell people that they are required to confirm their subscription in order to get the free gift.

Do not be tempted to suggest on your sales pages that you have been in business for years and have been extremely successful. Remember your reputation is at stake.

I highly recommend that you engage professionals to help you is to minimize the risks that you are taking every day while running your online business. Risk management has never been more critical than it is today, and you can be certain that it is going to become increasingly important as the Internet matures as a place for doing business for woman entrepreneurs. Developing an effective Risk Management Plan is an important part of any project. Unfortunately, this step is often skipped with the high hopes that everything goes smoothly. But normally, issues do arise and without a well developed plan, even small issues can become big problems. The basis of sensible risk management in any type of business is to acknowledge the risks of what you are doing, before you do it and then finding ways that you can to reduce those risks to such a level where they become acceptable.

I would suggest go and read all of the sales letters that you are using to promote any products that you are working with right now, and run an online search for a lawyer and an accountant in your town that you can talk to if you don’t already have the necessary professional advisers in place.

The key to running a safe online business is to know which legal obligations you face, keep current on relevant laws in your area, and take the proper steps to protect yourself and your business. I sincerely hope that you have learned a lot and that your online business is a huge success!


Cartoon by Kriti Vichare

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