23 April 2020 | Reading time: 2 minutes
In this new era of COVID-19, online business is more essential than ever. Whether an established online business or a new online player, here are 4 key legal considerations for optimising online operations.
1. Choose your terms wisely.
Carefully consider whether new agreements could be affected by COVID-19 and whether existing rights and obligations have been frustrated or otherwise affected by a force majeure event.
2. Privacy is paramount.
If your online business collects personal information from its customers or users, Australian privacy laws may apply. This depends on the size and nature of your business.
3. Comply with consumer laws.
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) may affect several areas of your online business, including:
Consequences for breaching the ACL can be severe and harmful for your business and goodwill. Therefore, it is critical to understand your rights and obligations in relation to customers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
4. Understand your IP rights.
Running an online business inevitably involves the use or creation of intellectual property and it’s important to understand your rights and restrictions.
When engaging third parties (such as developers, designers or other contractors), check the contract carefully to understand which party will own the resulting intellectual property. Negotiation of ownership or licensing rights is critical.
Avoid publishing photos, text or other media online, that your business does not own or have a licence to use, to ensure you do not infringe third party intellectual property rights.
Stay alert to legal issues.
As we settle into life with COVID-19, it is encouraging to see new online initiatives. However, rapidly changing circumstances make it important to stay vigilant about the legal issues affecting online business.
For details of all of our COVID-19 tips and updates, visit the Bespoke COVID-19 Hub.