12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

How to Choose a Good Mobile App Developer for Maximizing Your Business

A mobile application for business is becoming more and more important to maximize your business potentials. Not only does this attract more customers and broaden your communications with them, mobile apps are also helpful in building an associating with your website, generating extra advertisement and earning, improving your company’s image, making communication easier, and most importantly securing your business. To obtain the best results for your project, choosing a good app developer is very crucial. Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind while selecting app developers.

1. Know their specialties

Sometimes, a design agency that is good at making mobile apps for iPhone and iPad doesn’t have the same capabilities while developing apps for Android-based devices and vice versa. This is due to the fact that the coding characteristics for iOS and Android platforms are different. One app developer may be more familiar with one particular platform. In other cases, a developer may simply want to focus on one of these platforms.

2. Know their experience

Since iOS and Android-based phones and tablet computers have only been on the market for a few years, there is a possibility that you might face difficulties in finding an agency that has been in business for a longtime. However, you should not choose beginners to develop your mobile business app, as you may pay for their process of learning, and it may cost more or take longer to complete the task. Some developers have focused on mobile apps after already developing desktop applications for some time. They can bring a lot of experience to the table.

3. Ask for testimonials and references

If the developer cannot give you a list of testimonials or references from prior clients, look for another one who can do so. Testimonials and references are significant so that you know how well they can handle mobile app projects. Even when they give you their list of former clients, make sure you contact the clients one by one to make sure that the list is the real deal.

4. Ask whether they have a customer warranty

Developing mobile apps is not always easy and sometimes there are glitches or bugs found after the apps are launched. If this situation occurs, you need to make sure that the app developer shows responsibility to fix the bugs. Before agreeing to cooperate with a certain app developer, make sure to read their terms and conditions thoroughly, and ask a lot of questions, especially about follow-up service. A good web developer will answer all your doubts clearly instead of giving you more confusion.

Business Projects and Essential Resource Planning Software

In a world which idolizes successful and young entrepreneurs and thrives on the support of large economies, it is not surprising that businesses are increasingly wary of where their land, labour and capital are getting utilized. Add that to the fact that this era sees its epitome of technology today, and constantly out-does itself owing to the vigorous competition prevalent in the corporate world. What you are now faced with is a gap that begs to be filled by resourceful computer software with an efficient, speedy and user-friendly interface. Welcome to resource planning software.

The responsibilities of project managers require them to be highly vigilant of everything that goes on about them. Resources, time and the available team are each, in themselves, independent factors in the equation and in direct need of separate management. Apart from that, and more importantly, the project needs to be supervised and it needs to be ensured that it keeps on moving in the right direction. With this sort of burden resting on one, or on a group of persons, errors in judgment and mistakes are bound to occur. The usage of excellent resource planning software for the assistance of the project manager mostly or completely eliminates mis-judgements, and leaves no room for human error. The project manager can then focus on more pragmatic issues rather than simply manually supervising each task as it is done.

Furthermore, in the wake of the failure of large economies worldwide, which puts immense financial and psychological pressure on businesses, such software provides the user with an outline of the whole fiscal year in the form of a more interactive medium that they can get in touch with ahead of time. Deadlines can be met with greater ease as targets are reached with much more consistency. The formulas fed into the database of such excellent resource planning software display realistic and achievable targets based on past information and projected future figures. These figures when made visible to all parties involved (employees, clients) culminate in the coming together of all components in a business to increase profits of current years and still stay posted about future investment plans.

Resource planning software is also practical in its usage. The user-friendly interface usually consists of bright colours to define and highlight important projects for easy identification. It is compatible and lets the user experiment with spread sheets (with excellent templates already made available) and e-mail clients for straightforward no-nonsense handling and online transfer of data. The representation of information using appropriate charts, flow diagrams and animations aids the retention of relevant instructions for the employees and creates an easily interpretable picture for the project manager. Hands-on experiences provided let you drag and drop items onto the timelines, spread sheets flowcharts etc. A more contemporary version of the software might even inculcate touch sensitive interfaces making the hand-on experience quite literal. It will then be possible to operate the software using touch-tablets.

All these features render all previous existing techniques, all the expensive stationery quite useless as well as proving this software to be a necessity for all project managers in large businesses worldwide. The hassle of paper documents can now be a thing of the past and an enterprise’s accounts, resource processing, comparison of projected and actual figures can all find ample, secure space within the boundaries of such revolutionary software. This will let businesses compete well and excel in the ruthless race that the commercial world now takes the shape of.

Managers can plan their resources efficiently by using eResource Scheduler, an efficient resource planning software. This software to plan resources will help you to know more about accurately predicting resource requirement for your office.

Creative Business Advertising for Your Grand Opening

The key to a powerful grand opening is having a lot of people attend who are excited to hear about your product and can’t wait to finally have your company open for business to meet their needs and help solve their problems. In the months and weeks leading up to your company’s first day, as many people in your surrounding area as possible need to see your business name, understand where you are located, and what service you will be expertly providing. Here are some ways to build anticipation and excitement, and to spread the word throughout your local Florida community with creative advertising…

Particularly in Florida where so much time is spent outdoors all year long, one idea is to have a custom printed banner designed announcing your grand opening. A professional printing company can make a very clean, attractive, durable banner that can be made in any dimension and can be hung virtually anywhere. This is a great way to start on your brand marketing campaign.
And if the message you have printed on the banner does not use the words “grand opening”, it can be used over and over again in the future for many years of Florida outdoor advertising. While these types of banners hold up very well for quite a few years of use, they last even longer in Florida where they don’t have to contend with the ice and snow during the winter months. Months and years after your company’s first day has gone by, your custom banner can still be hauled out and strung up as a part of your on-going business advertising.
Another creative advertising idea for your grand opening is to use those same types of custom banners and take them with you out into your community. Set up a booth at Florida outdoor concerts, sporting events, neighborhood block parties, carnivals, parks, community centers, and other opportunities for outdoor business advertising. Anywhere your local community is, your custom banner needs to be.
Another creative advertising idea is to use vinyl window clings or car wraps. This is a constantly mobile business advertising technique that never requires asking permission to be put up. Most business owners prefer the window clings as they are cheaper to have made and leave no permanent mark on the car. This also means that it can be changed out to fit the brand marketing season of your company, beginning with announcing your grand opening party and then moving on to seasonal sales and other promotions. The most common issue with this type of Florida outdoor advertising is that the location of the company being promoted is not included. It may seem silly to have directions printed on a car, but if potential customers see your business name but don’t know where to find you, what good is it?
One final idea for some creative outdoor advertising is to always wear your business id/nametag whenever you are out in your local Florida community. Be sure it looks professional, is not cluttered with too much information, and is easy to read with some sort of catchy saying or slogan to make people curious.