Business Law

E-Commerce Business Attorneys in New Jersey & NYC

Assisting Our Clients’ Expansion into the Lucrative World of Internet Transactions

Evolving global markets and a shift in how consumers are doing business in the face of a global pandemic have resulted in businesses investing in e-commerce platforms more than ever before. Many consumers associate e-commerce exclusively with one-stop online retailers like Amazon or online arms of brick and mortar retailers like Macy’s, but e-commerce embodies many additional categories of transactions that help modern economies function.

E-commerce includes the following categories:

  • B2C (Business to Consumer) – when an online business sells a product or service to a consumer
  • B2B (Business to Business) – when a business sells products or services to another business over the internet
  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer) – when a consumer sells a product or service to another consumer via the internet
  • C2B (Consumer to Business) – when a consumer sells a product or service to an online business

Expansion into the above categories of e-commerce can be tremendously lucrative but can also carry numerous potential liabilities along with legal complexities. Our experienced New Jersey e-commerce business lawyers can help protect the interests of your business in all areas of e-commerce, including the review and drafting of service contracts, distribution and supplier agreements, purchase orders, platform compliance, website terms of use and collections and enforcement of payment. At M. Ross & Associates, LLC, our team is committed to delivering your business the most efficient and effective legal solutions possible.

If your business is expanding into e-commerce and you have questions about potential liabilities, dial (201) 897-4942 or contact us online to request a consultation.

E-Commerce Contract Drafting and Review

Every relationship your business enters, internally or externally, should be bound by a legal agreement. Though e-commerce is conducted over the internet, all transactions should still be anchored in clear contractual language that legally protect your business from liability.

In B2C scenarios, you should have terms of service in place for customers using your website, storefront, or platform to purchase goods or services. This agreement between your business and the consumer can cover the terms of using the website and any transaction that occurs within it, including the acknowledgment of internet “cookies” (now required by law in some territories), your business’s handling of customer data, return and payment policies, and your accepted liability (or lack thereof) if your website is breached.

For B2B transactions, e-commerce legal agreements are similar to any contract you would want to have formalized between your company and a third-party vendor. Instead of hiring a trucking company for deliveries, however, you might instead form a legal agreement to do business with a transaction processing merchant platform. Indeed, many entrepreneurs or small businesses expanding into e-commerce rely on existing software solutions to manage and facilitate the online elements of their business. The companies providing these software tools often have their own boilerplate agreements, but these are often written to the advantage of the service provider you are hiring, not your business. Our experienced e-commerce attorneys can review these legal agreements and flag potential issues before you build your company on a platform that could jeopardize your business long-term.

If your business is built on facilitating C2C transactions – think an online marketplace, like eBay – your business will need an overarching agreement for consumers to accept in order to use your service. A proper terms of service agreement should define your role in consumer-to-consumer sales and the extent of your responsibilities n the event of disputes. Ideally, you will want to shield your business from liability in dispute scenarios and chiefly define your company’s role as a platform, not an arbitrator.

Finally, think of C2B scenarios as hiring freelancers or independent contractors. Your business might require someone to write copy for your website or license photographs taken by an amateur photographer. Even though the work is done over the internet, your business still needs an appropriate agreement to define the terms of the relationship and the product or service being offered. Also, you want to gain the right licenses and permissions if you are relying on intellectual property owned by a third-party.

Whether you have been provided contracts from another online business or need to develop a legal agreement for the online arm of your company, our New Jersey e-commerce business attorneys can help. We can draft new legal agreements essential to your expanding business or assist in the review of existing contractual language to make sure your business is protected.

Platform Compliance

As mentioned above, many businesses operating online are not the actual developers of the software architecture facilitating their e-commerce.. Many will instead rely on existing software platforms for both front-end and back-end solutions, managing a range of categories essential to running their business.

Businesses often use third party software solutions to aid in the following categories:

  • Customer transactions and payment processing
  • Customer support, including “live chat” functionality
  • Website hosting, architecture, and management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Human relations and payroll

If your business is in need of a solution in any of the above categories or even something else, you will probably evaluate options offered by other companies to determine which feature best suits your company’s needs. However, you need to consider more than the company’s pitch: Just as your business should have a terms of service agreement, the platform you are hoping to do business with likely does as well.

In order to do continued business with a platform, you will need to ensure that your business is compliant with its rules. It is important to determine if your company’s goals potentially conflict with the requirements of the platform before you build your business with their software.

Failure to exercise platform compliance can result in disastrous consequences for your business. A breach in compliance might prompt a platform to abruptly bar you from using their service and consequently halt all of your transactions, potentially crippling your company’s ability to do business. It is even possible that breaking a platform’s terms could result in legal liabilities. Even a temporary inability to do business can be harmful for consumer confidence, so it is critical that your company regularly and proactively reviews its own business activity to ensure compliance with the platforms being utilized.

Litigation

In any scenario, if you have a legal agreement in place and the other party fails to live up to it, you may be compelled to pursue litigation to resolve the problem. The same holds true in the world of e-commerce; if a digital business fails to provide an agreed-upon service despite remitted payment, or if a customer refuses to pay for a rendered service, the conflict may only be solved through legal action. Our e-commerce business attorneys in New Jersey can assist in with commencing litigation, defending litigations and enforcement proceedings.

Let M. Ross & Associates, LLC Help Protect Your E-Commerce Business

Expanding into e-commerce can introduce liability and contractual questions your business may not have experience with. We can help: At M. Ross & Associates, LLC, our New Jersey business e-commerce lawyers have considerable experience in managing litigation and business transactions in numerous areas. Whether your business wants to ensure platform compliance, needs help writing or reviewing legal agreements, terms of service or needs assistance pursuing collections, our legal team is committed to providing legal guidance and solutions for your business.

Learn how we can help your e-commerce business by calling (201) 897-4942 or contacting us online.

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