E-Commerce Rules and Regulations

When you decide to set up an e-commerce website, there are many rules and regulations you need to adhere by to take payment online.

Sales Tax

Traditional methods of accepting payments, charge a sales tax for a particular state. When you start selling online however, it gets a little more complicated.If you are a click-and mortar retailer, you must collect taxes that are applicable to the state your store is located.

If you are purely selling goods and services just online, you are not required to collect sales taxes. According to business.gov, if your business has a physical presence it is referred to as a nexus. “Each state defines nexus differently, but all agree that if you have store or office of some sort, a nexus exists. If you are uncertain, whether or not your business qualifies as a physical presence, contact your state's revenue agency. If you do not have a physical presence in a state, you are not required to collect sales taxes from customers in that state.”


Your customers are entrusting your website with their private information, and therefore, the FTC has “brought a number of cases to enforce the promises in corporate privacy statements, including promises about the security of consumers’ personal information. As result, any corporate privacy policy related to e-commerce activity may be subject to enforcement by the FTC.”

International Sales

Your website will be seen globally, because of this you should realize that you may be doing transactions not only in the United States, but internationally. Knowing importing laws, the difference in taxes, duties, custom laws and consumer protection that will be involved with international commerce is a must. To help with all of these issues, the FTC has put together a guide for selling electronic commerce. The FTC along with 28 other countries have put this information together for all e-commerce businesses.

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