By Paul D.
McGrady, Jr., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig / Author, McGrady on Domain Names
I think some of the first things that a start-up
business should think about are its terms and conditions and its privacy statement,
because the terms and conditions on your website govern your relationship with
your customer, and the privacy statement governs what you can do with the
information you gather from your customer.
For the terms and conditions, a lot of folks are going to be tempted to go
out to one of the big websites - for example to Amazon.com or something like
that - and grab their terms and conditions and just make a copy of those and
stick them on their website. The problem
with that of course, is that the terms and conditions are going to be unique to
the geographic location where the company is, the kinds of customers that the
company has, and the kinds of products that the company's going to sell. And so, each of these things can't just be
reproduced without thinking through who your underlying customer is and what
you're trying to accomplish.
I think it's important that the start-up business
take a good look at those issues. Some
things that are probably more important than others on those lists are things
like governing law. Invariably a dispute
is going to happen. In the event that it
bubbles over into a lawsuit, where do you want that lawsuit? Do you want to leave that blank and take a
chance that the lawsuit is going to be heard where the customer is? Do you want to put in choice of law and venue
language that makes sure that if a customer decides to get aggressive with you
that they'll have to come to your home jurisdiction to do that? What you certainly don't want to do is to put
in language where Amazon wants to be sued, because chances of you being where
Amazon is are pretty slim, right?
learn more, join me for a complimentary CLE Credited LexisNexis® Webinar:
Starting an Online Business - Best Practices, on June 14, 2011, at 2 p.m.
Eastern time. To learn more about the
webinar or register, click here http://www.eventsvc.com/LexisNexis_HB.
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