E-commerce, i.e. trading goods and services on the internet, has become an indispensable part of economic life. However, many operators of online shops are not clear about which legal requirements apply to their e-commerce platforms, whether on their own website or on trading platforms such as eBay, Amazon or comparable providers.
Companies that operate a website or online store in Germny must comply with a number of e-commerce regulations. These include in particular:
- Act against Unfair Competition (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb, UWG)
- Quotation of Prices Act (Preisangabenverordnung, PrAngV)
- Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz, TMG)
- Privacy Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, BDSG)
- Packaging Act (Verpackungsverordnung, VerpackV)
- Regulations on General Terms and Conditions within the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB)
- Consumer Protection Act (e.g. obligation to inform consumers on their right of withdrawal)
- Treaty on the Protection of Human Dignity and on the Protection of Minors in Broadcasting and the Electronic Media (Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag, JMStV)
- Securities law and the financial supervisory law (if relevant in your case)
A violation of these regulations can lead to costly warnings from competitors, the discontinuation of online business operations and, in some cases, fines from the authorities. Our e-commerce lawyers will be happy to advise you on how to comply with the relevant regulations when creating your online sales platform. Of course, we will also be happy to review your existing online store in order to protect your company from warning letters.
We advise and support companies in particular in the legally compliant design of
- General Terms and Conditions
- Consumer Right of Withdrawal Instructions
In order to limit your personal liability, in most cases it is recommendable to form a separate legal entity with limited liability (e.g. a German GmbH, AG, or a foreign form of an LLC). This limited liability company would then assume responsibility and liability for the content of your website and the activities of your web shop. Our e-commece attorneys will be pleased to advise you on the appropriate legal form and will handle the formation process for you.
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