So you’re ready to start your Internet marketing empire. Before you spend a lot of money to establish your business, consider the 10 points below and make sure you’re in compliance with various online advertising laws.
- Make sure you have a written business plan outlining your goals, time-frame, funding sources, contingency options, and whether Cost Per Action (CPA) advertising is based on click, impression, or sale.
- Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a C-Corp that elects sub-chapter S status.
- For companies involved with affiliate marketing, consider placing disclaimers before links to other advertisers’ sites with whom you have no direct relationship or are unsure of the product being marketed.
- Ensure you receive the full benefits of copyright protection by placing a statement like “© of XYZ”, with your name or company name in place of XYZ, at the bottom of every page of content on your site. Register your trademark or service mark with state and federal agencies. Make sure you are not infringing on anyone else’s copyrights or trademarks.
- If you are outsourcing any of your content writing, make sure you have written contracts or agreements in place with freelancers — and make sure those contracts transfer any and all rights (of the work) to you.
- Your site should have a Digital Millenium Copyright Act Notice that allows people to contact you, or your service provider, if they believe you’re hosting infringing content.
- Know the difference between resale rights, master resale rights, and private label rights.
- Make sure that you hire an experienced attorney that is familiar with internet marketing laws to draft your contracts. Make sure the provision in your contracts regarding disputes is in your favor.
- If you are providing a testimonial (endorsement) for a product or service, it must be truthful and you must disclose any connection to the advertiser that might materially affect your credibility. Consider placing a statement at the footer of your webpage that states you’re an authorized affiliate for any of the advertised products. Also, know the Dot Com Disclosures, backwards and forwards.
- If visitors to your site are subscribing to certain services, consider using a double opt-in method of verifying their desire to subscribe. This means the visitor will fill out information on your site, including their email address. After they finish an email will be sent to that account with a link that must be clicked on in order to confirm their desire to subscribe. Although this may decrease conversion rates, it could save you thousands in legal costs later on.
Contact and Internet Marketing Lawyer
This list is not comprehensive. Please contact us to set up a consultation to discuss Internet marketing laws and any other online or technology legal issues.