Your Website and the Law

If you open a shop to the public, you have to follow certain rules and regulations before you trade. For example, you might need to make alterations to provide access for wheelchair users. Well, when you launch a business website there are laws you must follow as well. Failure to do so could result in a hefty fine.

EU cookie Law
Have you noticed the pop ups on websites you visit asking to OK their cookie policy? Since May 2011 all websites should have this notification – telling site users how the website uses and stores personal information about the user. It may be to help you navigate the site more quickly, or to remember your login next time you visit. Either way, the EU has decided that you, the site owner, must have a cookie use policy, and must tell site users about it. Failure to comply with the law could result in a fine of up to £500,000. For more information about the policy visit the ICO’s website
http://www.ico.org.uk

The Equality Act
Is your website accessible to people with a disability, for example the partially sighted? If not, then it could be considered discriminatory. The Act is ‘anticipatory’, which means you cannot wait until a disabled person wants to use your services. You must think in advance (and on an ongoing basis) about what disabled people with a range of impairments (sight loss, hearing loss, mobility and cognitive impairments) might reasonably need.
For more information, visit http://www.rnib.org.uk

Your business details online
Since 2007, all companies must have their business details: ie., the place of registration, the registered number and the registered office address clearly visible on the website. This includes emails as well. For more information visit:
http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk
Data Protection
Is your website an e-commerce site? Are you selling goods or services via the internet? Do you have customers, store their personal details and email them regularly with sales and news information?  If so, you may need to be a regitered data contoller. The cost for registering with the Information Commissioner’s Office is just £35 a year for small businesses. For more information about if you need to register and how, visit:
http://www.ico.org.uk
Consumer Laws
If you’re selling goods online then you must make sure you follow consumer rights laws. Failure to do so could be expensive and could even see your business site closed. Random checks by Trading Standards officials on sites in Scotland in 2013 found more than 50% were not compliant. For more information about what you need to do, visit:
https://www.gov.uk

If you would like expert advice on setting up your e-ccomerce site, call The Red Box on: 01785 248101

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