A real home based Internet business has to comply with the same legal regulations as an Internet business from any other location. Here are the basic legal issues with which a real home based Internet business owner must be familiar.
The first issue, and a real concern for any home based Internet business is the restriction based on age. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) follows the regulations spelled out in COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and requires that children under the age of 13 cannot disclose their personal information unless a parent consents to it. Children under the age of 18 cannot be allowed to view adult content on the Internet, nor can they enter into any contract.
Real time occurrences on the Web, such as chats, must be controlled by the home based Internet business owner. Bulletin boards would have the same control issues. The rules of using each should solicit and retain the consent of each online user to refrain from posting pornography, defamatory material or anything that infringes on others’ rights. Your company should also clearly state on its site that you are not liable for other users that commit to following your policies and guidelines but subsequently violating them.
To make real your ownership of all property and content on your home based business Internet site you’ll need a copyright notice on the site’s footer. The notice should have the date and your name and the statement “All rights reserved.” A real copy of your home based business Internet site should be field with the U.S. copyright office. This will effectively record ownership of the contents of the site, as well as its look and its feel.
Your site’s domain name is an important part of the branding and marketing for your Internet business. It is best to tie that domain name as closely as possible to your logo, your brand and your business name. Carefully choose a domain name that clearly conveys the products or services of your real home based Internet business. Register your domain name as a trademark and you can retain ownership should it be challenged by another business.
If your site is on the World Wide Web then you must comply with export regulations. If you sell goods over the Internet to these global consumers then you are exporting items for sale and entering into international countries. If your site is encrypted then you are exporting to other countries U.S. Department of Commerce and Defense technology. There are many U.S. federal agencies that have regulations in force for doing business with other countries, and the times and circumstances that require a firm to get an export license to send information, technology or goods abroad.
There are countries with whom business transactions are limited severely for U.S. firms. These countries are Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Yugoslavia. The best decision about the real problems you might encounter for your home based Internet business doing business with these countries and/ or its residents should be made with your attorney.
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