Legal Guide to Start an E commerce Store in UK I (2019)

DISCLAIMER: These e-commerce startup guides are for general informational purposes only, and do not constitute professional legal advice. Please consult independent legal advice for information specific to your country and circumstances. It is not liable to you in any way for your use or reliance on these guides.

Whether you’re starting a brand new business or you’re an established brand, taking your business online is an exciting growth opportunity. In fact, there has never been a better time to start an e-commerce business as how easy Digilex Adverts has made it. The internet has connected the world and Digilex Adverts are making it possible for anyone to get started, regardless of technical skill like coding and setting up an e-commerce store.

However, with all of these advantages come some complex legal issues. Different countries have different laws and knowing which ones apply to you is critical but here we are just sharing the information only for the UNITED KINGDOM. In order to get all the rewards that a successful e commerce store can bring, you must stay informed and protect yourself and your business.
And that’s exactly why we created this guide.
We want to make you aware of all the important implications that come with conducting business online so you can prepare yourself and carry out all the necessary steps to ensure everything you’re doing meets the legal requirements for an online business operating in the United Kingdom.
With all these precautionary measures, this guide is not meant to be taken as official legal advice. Rather, it’s simply meant to point you in the right direction and it’s always best to seek professional legal advice if you have a different scenario or have questions about your specific situation.


What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a recognizable insignia, phrase or symbol that denotes a specific product or service and legally differentiates it from all other products. Basically a trademark serves to exclusively identify a product or service with a specific company, and is a recognition of that company’s ownership of the brand. Trademarks are generally considered a form of someone’s property.

Trade–marks Act

In the competitive and constantly changing digital marketplace, a trademark is considered as a very valuable asset for a company as it marks it’s goodwill and organisational interests. It affects your reputation thus differentiating your business and the quality of your products from those of your competitors. Your trademark carries your reputation with it, and reinforces long-term relationships with your buyers. These marks are unique identifiers and are also referred to as “logos” or “brands.”
It’s important to be aware of trademarks not only to protect your rights, but also to ensure that you’re not infringing on the rights of others when creating one. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is responsible for registering and enforcing your rights as a mark holder. IPO is a resource you can access to gather information, ask questions, check the registry of current marks related to your principle business line and begin the registration process.
The Trade Marks Act is the federal legislation that defines which marks can be protected by law, as well as outlining your rights as a trademark holder and how to enforce them.
Before registering your mark formally with the IPO, check its registry to make sure your mark is “unique” yet “attractive to customers” and “defines your business”.

Undergoing this step will increase the chances that your mark will be approved and ensure that it’s unique and distinguishable.
There’s no legal requirement for you to register your trademark, but there are benefits for your brand if you do. Registering your mark gives you the exclusive right to use it in the U.K. In the event that someone does use your mark, it’s easier for you to take legal action because the registration is enough proof that you own the mark.

Notable Info:

You Can Register
  1. A mark that is distinctive for the goods or services you provide.
  2. Words, graphics or a combination of both.
  3. Shape of goods or packaging.
You Cannot Register
  1. A mark that is not distinctive.
  2. A mark that describes the goods or services — examples include marks showing quality, quantity, purpose or origin of your goods.
  3. A mark that is offensive, deceptive or has protected emblems.

If you don’t register your mark, you can’t take action for infringement. An unregistered mark holder can only enforce their rights on the basis of “passing off” or via proceedings under the Fair Trading Act, but these avenues are difficult and expensive to prove. A trademark is an asset to your business that is worth protecting, and registering your mark is the best way to do that.

Always remember that the law is fluid and subject to change. Although trademarks are an established area of the law, be sure to stay informed about the changes relevant to you and your business. The IPO is a good resource for keeping up to date and ensuring that your rights are maintained. Trademarks are valuable assets, and it’s up to you to capitalize on and protect this aspect of your brand.

Benefits of a Registered Copyright
  1. Property that can be sold or licensed.
  2. Allows criminal charges
    to be laid.
  3. Deters others from using it.
Some Cons of Unregistered Businesses
  1. Using your mark for extended time can provide rights.
  2. More difficult to bring legal action



NOTE: You are not allowed to send email marketing materials without gaining consent and without proper identification and opt out mechanisms.

As a store owner, you frequently have the chance to gather and use your customers’ e-mail addresses. This will be a valuable resource to extend sales, however take care to exercise caution while using this info. The UK government has self-addressed privacy problems related to this by implementing the Privacy and transmission rules in 2003. Compliance with this legislation is enforced by the data Commissioner and carries higher financial penalties.

Our Recommendations:

Avoid Spamming
  1. You must get permission and allow for opt-out.
  2. Each message should contain the information like Who is sending this message, a way to contact this person or authority and obviously an unsubscribe mechanism.

Sending e-mails to customers is always a good way to stay them educated concerning your products, services or offers, however be alert to their right to privacy. Mostly problematic messages vary from emails telling customers a new sale to giving uninvited business opportunities. The law doesn’t ban these messages, however it will need that you just (the sender) give bound options and data within the messages you send.

The burden is on you to prove you had permission from the consumer to send messages. Make sure you have systems in place to store proof of consent. Marketing materials are most effective, after all, when the receiver is interested in getting information. Receiving consent means that your consumers are happy and that you’re in compliance with the law.

The burden is on you to prove you had permission from the consumer to send messages. ensure you have got systems in situation to store proof of consent. Marketing materials are quite useful but after all it becomes effective where user is interested in getting data. Receiving consent implies that the consumers are taking interest and you’re in compliance with the law

Opt In

The consumer has actively signed up for e-mails knowing they’ll receive various messages.

Opt Out

The customer is informed about the way that they will receive messages unless they don’t want to receive

There are a spread of the way to urge the desired consent. once the e-mail address is collected throughout the course of a buying deal (or negotiations for a sale), consent are often associated with “opt–out” model, instead of “opt-in,” which is tougher to prove. Best method considered so far would be to provide a check box wherever the e-mail is being collected. This implies the customer has the chance to opt-out of future messages.

Opt In Consent: Not Required When
  1. The e-mail address was collected in the regular course of trade.
  2. Promotional messages relate to similar products and services.
  3. They were given the ability to opt-out upon providing the email.

A common method of establishing consent is to include a provision in your online store’s privacy policy. The most important thing here is to ensure you are sending marketing materials to individuals who have an interest in seeing them. Be sure to make it possible for customers to state that they don’t want materials sent to them, or allow them to tell you they don’t want any more promotions.

Complying with this law will allow you to maximize your contact list as a means of marketing, while ensuring that your communications are legal.

The e-mail address was collected within the regular course of trade.

  1. Promotional messages relate to similar product and services or offers
  2. They got the flexibility to opt-out upon providing the e-mail.

A common technique of creating consent is to incorporate a provision in your online store’s privacy policy. the foremost necessary factor here is to confirm you’re causation promoting materials to people or company having an interest in seeing them. make certain to form it potential for patrons to state that they don’t wish materials sent to them, or enable them to inform you they don’t wish promotions any longer.

Complying with this law can enable you to maximise your contact list as a good and considerable means of marketing, whereas guaranteeing that your way of communications through e-mail are legal.