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Regulations to be aware of when conducting your business online

If you are conducting your business online, then you should be aware of several regulations you should to abide by. The English law that governs the conduct of online business is set out in several different statutory instruments. Some are specific to online trade whilst others apply to all business activity.

The following are some regulations that are significant for those businesses operating online.

  • The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 enforce a variety of obligations on the operators of commercial websites. This includes the obligation to provide its users with certain information about the operator and its services.


  • The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 regulates direct marketing, both solicitated and unsolicited by the way of electronic communication.


  • The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 has prohibited several unfair practices by traders. This includes misleading actions or omissions, along with the use of aggressive commercial practices and a list of prohibited commercial practices.


  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 has placed additional obligations on website operators who deal with consumers. It also introduced cancellation rights for the consumer.


  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has merged a series of previous UK consumer rights legislation and updated certain areas. This includes the statutory implied terms in consumer contracts and the remedies available to the consumer for breach of those terms.


  • The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 contain requirements around the use of personal data. This includes data concerning website users.

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