e-Commerce: The Way Forward
Today the majority of global trade and commerce is taking place online. Amazon, eBay, and other online stores now dominate the landscape, and the increase in popularity of social media has shown the power of online advertising. Having an online presence is now a vital step towards business success. In Germany, huge numbers of people are now purchasing goods and services online. Online stores generally provide greater flexibility and more personalised products. Many customers now seek these personalised products and prefer to purchase them over generic goods in more traditional stores. For any company looking to break into the lucrative German market, online is the way forward. However, new opportunities also present new legal risks and challenges.
German law is known for being complex, and in the world of e-commerce, there are many factors businesses have to take into account. Legal statutes and considerations which operate in this legal area include:
- The Telemedia Act: This law outlines the requirements that your company must display on its website. Such requirements include company name, address, email address, VAT identification number etc.
- The Federal Data Protection Act: As an online operator, your company will likely come into contact with consumer private data. This Act outlines how your company should act in this matter to ensure compliance with the GDPR.
- German Civil Code: The German Civil Code (BGB) outlines the regulations relating to general terms and conditions for companies.
As well as this, companies established in Germany must also be aware of laws relating to consumer protection as well as contractual requirements, whether the company is dealing directly with customers or with other businesses. Our lawyers can provide you with the clarity and guidance that you need.
Risks and Challenges Involved with e-Commerce.
Consumer protection is the basis for most of the regulations concerning e-commerce law in Germany. Due to this, consumer rights violations can arise quickly. This applies in particular in cases involving online marketing. Sending newsletters about new products requires the consent of customers to use their personal data. To gain valid consent, contracts and data protection agreements need to be consistent with current legislation. Challenges due to different regulations applicable – on national, European and international level need always to be considered thoroughly to avoid any infringements.
As an online & financial business owner, there is also the risk of being the target of an act of cybercrime. Customer data can potentially be stolen and accessed by those without official authority to do so. This risk arises for everyone in this sector, from the most powerful companies to the smallest e-commerce operators. Get legal guidance and clarity should such an attack affect your company.
Another risk is that of finding your company has potentially breached German law. Without having a clear insight into German legal provisions, such a potential breach is more likely to occur. Such infringements can lead to costly court proceedings and even lead to the shutting down of a website. Having the right legal guidance is the surest manner of avoiding such infringements from occurring.
Our Legal Services: e-Commerce Lawyers in Germany
While e–commerce developed and grew in popularity, the law appeared at times to be behind it in its regulations. It is typical that the law needs more time to adjust in such cases. However, as the law develops in this field it is vital that you have a law firm at your side which is competent in working in new legal fields. New online business possibilities need to be consistent with the applicable law. As experienced contract and commercial lawyers, we will help you find a legal solution that fits individually to your business.
Our services in the field of German e-commerce law include but are not limited to:
- Legal advice on cybercrime
- Representation both in- and out- of court
- Legal regulations regarding e-commerce
- Data protection
- Guidance on terms & conditions within contracts
- Cyber security