In today’s internet era it is common for organisations to have an online presence, such as a company website or social media platforms. It is important to remember that your organisation has legal responsibilities online, just as it does offline. Here are some legal issues that should be considered when establishing your business online.

Website Terms and Policies
When setting up a website, you will need to develop policies that explain your terms of doing business. The terms may cover issues such as the accuracy of the content, your liability for the information presented online and the rights of your customers.

Web Address
Prior to choosing a domain name for your website you should check the Intellectual Property Australia website to verify the availability of a trademark or business name. This will minimise the risk of your organisation breaching any laws.

It is essential that you are aware of the legal obligations regarding e-commerce. Fair trading and consumer protection laws may require your organisation’s website to clearly state prior to any transaction, all terms and conditions regarding purchases and refunds.

Disclaimers are essential to include on any business website and should be prominently displayed on your website. The wording of the disclaimers will generally depend upon the risks associated with your business online.

Third Party Materials
Generally, when you post material on your website that you or your organisation has not created, you will need permission from the material’s copyright owner. Permission may be granted upon payment of a license fee, however, the creative commons licence allows a copyright owner to pre-authorise certain uses of their work by members of the public. Ensure your use of third party material is allowed and you correctly specify the material’s title, author, source and licence.

For more business legal tips, call The Quinn Group on 02 9223 9166 or visit our website at to submit an online enquiry.

By Patrick Lopes