UK Ecommerce Regulations
This is an old revision of the document!
A good starting point for business is the UK`s business link website: http://www.businesslink.gov.uk which is the main government information portal for UK businesses. It contains comprehensive information on all aspects of running a business.
E-Commerce Regulations: They implement the European E-Commerce Directive into UK law and one of their main aims is to ensure that electronic contracts are legally binding and enforceable throughout Europe. Overview: E-Commerce Regulation. Tips: Tips for complying with the e-commerce regulations.
Recent Changes: From 1 January 2007 all companies in the UK must clearly state the company registration number, place of registration, registered office address and, if the company is being wound up, that fact, on all of their websites. A common place to put this information is in the “About us” or “Legal info” page of the site - it does not have to appear on every page. Distance Selling Regulations: The Distance Selling Regulations 2000 are designed to protect customers who are not physically present with the seller at the time of purchase. They cover purchases made via email and the Internet, together with telephone and mail order. Overview: Distance Selling Regulations.
Companies Act 2006: Rules for Limited Companies
The Sale of Goods Act: The Sale of Goods Act is the main piece of law helping buyers to obtain redress when their purchases go wrong. It is in the interest of anyone who sells goods or services to understand the implications of the Act for them and the responsibilities they have under it. Overview: The Sale of Goods Act.
VAT: In the UK, business must register for VAT if their turnover exceeds a defined limit in the last 12 months of trading. You can register voluntarily before you reach this limit. For details check the HM Revenue & Customs website or read the the business link overview.
The current rules (2007/2008) are: You must register your business for VAT if you supplied taxable goods and services with a total value of more than £64,000 in the last 12-month period, or if you anticipate supplying taxable goods and services valued at more than £64,000 in the next 30-day period alone.
-Display your address, phone number, Ltd company number, VAT registration number on your site
-B2B (business to business) usually display prices without VAT, but B2C (business to consumer) must display all prices inclusive of VAT
-Consumers within the EU pay VAT (unless they are VAT registered), consumers outside the EU don’t
-Whether or not VAT is charged depends on whether or not the goods are “removed” from the EU market. For that reason, VAT is based on the shipping address, not on the billing address
-Channel Islands and Isle of Man are not part of the EU market and therefore qualify for zero-rated VAT