Before you spend hours picking your graphics and menu colours, you need to make sure your site is viable from a legal standpoint. Here’s a list of essential elements to prepare before you launch your website.
You can use your company name, your own name or you can make something up. But whatever you choose, your domain name needs to be available. (P.s. your domain name will always end in .com, .fr, .net, .org, .net, .biz, .eu .paris, .ca, or this kind of thing) There are all kinds of websites where you can check to see if your domain name is up for grabs (Godaddy.com, instantdomainsearch.com/). Just type in the domain name you want and see if it comes up. But remember, as they say, “First come, first served.” If the URL you had your heart set on is already taken, you have two options. You can contact the domain order and offer to repurchase their domain name. Or you can rack your brain to try and think of another one.
If your website handles your customers’ personal information (email and mailing addresses, personal info, etc.), you need to make a declaration with the Commission Nationale de L’informatique et des Libertés [National Commission of Information Technology and Civil Liberties]. Be forewarned. Simply obtaining an Internet user’s email via a contact form legally requires you to make this declaration. Otherwise Bill 226-16 of the Criminal Code subjects you to five years in prison and a €300 000 fine.
Whether or not you are going into e-commerce or online sales, you will need to post certain terms on your site. These include “legal notices” which consist of your company name, legal status, business address, e-mail address, telephone number, registration number in company and sales directories, and intra-community VAT number. To view a more thorough version of this list, go to the website, service-public.fr.
Your General Sales Conditions (GSC) outline the specificities of your websites, address cases that might lead to a dispute and set the terms for package delivery and returns. They must therefore be accessible to all Internet users. If you are selling products online, they are obligatory and must contain:
Given their importance and specific nature, we cannot give you much advice and would recommend that you seek out an expert when writing your General Sales Conditions.
The 2004 “Digital Economy Trust Act tightened applicable laws for online sales by establishing pre-contractual obligations. These include:
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