Over the last month MexxaMixx’s local success has gone from strength to strength. The cooking sauce business is now looking to trade online.
Thomas and Steven Parks of MexxaMixx approached Thomson Snell & Passmore for advice on the key legal issues associated with e-commerce ventures.
Before embarking on an e-commerce project, there are several important points that need to be considered, summarised below, and we provided advice to the brothers in connection with each point:
- Who is going to have overall control of the website?
- What is the domain name and should the company register several different domain names to protect against cybersquatting?
- Who is to check that the website is compliant?
- Who is responsible for ensuring that the website is secure?
- Has the website designer been given clear instructions?
- Is there a written contract with the website designer? We need to ensure that any copyright created by the website designer is assigned to the company.
- Does the website infringe any third party’s intellectual property rights, for example, by using photographs without a licence?
- Who owns and has access to the website code?
- Who will be the web-hosting company and are the terms of the web-hosting agreement acceptable?
- What is the disaster recovery plan that will be put in place?
We also looked into the information that will need to appear on MexxaMixx’s website. We advised Thomas and Steven that, in order to comply with Trading Disclosure Regulations, MexxaMixx must clearly show its registered name, registered number, the part of the UK in which the company is registered and the company’s registered office address.
As the cooking sauces will be sold online via the website, MexxaMixx must comply with the Electronic Commerce Regulations. This means that the website must include the company’s VAT identification and be clear as to whether the prices of the sauces are inclusive of VAT and delivery costs.
Thomas and Steven could put the information on their home page, on the ‘contact us’ page or at the foot of every webpage of their website.
Finally, we advised Thomas and Steven on the requirements under the Distance Selling Regulations and UK data protection laws.
First published by Kent & Sussex Courier, February 2015.