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Starting E-Commerce Internet Business

By Staff

So you want to be an Internet Entrepreneur? Well good, you have just taken the first step to starting an Internet business. Knowing what you want to do is half the battle, devising a plan and executing it is the other half. To begin with you will need to have a basic idea of what type of business you want to have online. Will you sell products or services? You need to give careful consideration to what you will be selling before you start your online business otherwise you will be wasting your time.


What should you look for as a means for a good Internet business?


If you already have a business in the “brick and mortar” world off line, then you can capitalize on it by expanding it on the Internet. In this case, it would be the most logical thing to do. Just make sure that if you decide to put your business on the Internet and actually sell products or services that you create a website that is fitting. Don’t just use the Internet as a way of advertising your business, actually do business on the web.


Some people who start a business online merely use their site as a sort of brochure or sales letter for advertising purposes. These types of sites do have their advantages but don’t give the businessperson the advantage of utilizing potential opportunities available by new online technologies. Your web site can showcase information about your company and products or be an efficient way to communicate with clients and customers. It is virtually your international marketplace for selling your products and services.


The Internet is the best place in the world to run a business. The technology available to the lay person just starting out is tremendous. Everything from designing a website for free, to adding such features as shopping carts, merchant accounts, and interactive shopping are abundantly at their disposal. In addition, never before has there been a mechanism that allows a business to reach more potential customers so easily and on such a vast scale. Businesses online today have global access to customers, literally reaching all corners of the earth.


Now for the other side of the coin. If you don’t already have an off line business but want to start an Internet business, don’t give up hope. Opportunities abound for you as well. Start by making a list of your areas of expertise. Maybe you are a great writer, or a wonderful cook. Maybe you have exceptional public speaking skills, or can create training materials. Whatever you can think of by way of experience and expertise can literally be turned into an Internet business. Take for example this concept, you can take your area of expertise and write an ebook about it. Instantly you will have a product to sell online and officially be in business.


Lastly, if you don’t have and off line business already and you don’t feel that you have any expertise to offer anyone, there still is something that you can do to start a business online. You can learn about existing businesses on the Internet and how they operate. Hopefully you will find something of interest that you can do as well, just differently and hopefully better. Look for a niche market for your idea as well. One that has not been services properly or very little. There are always opportunities available to improve on products and services, you just have to figure out how and you will have the makings of an Internet business.

The Legalities of Running an Online Business

Do you need an attorney when starting an online business? It depends on the type of business that you will be operating online. Typical “brick and mortar” businesses use an attorney when structuring a new business for a variety of reasons. The following situations are typically when a lawyer would be needed whether you start a business online or off.

  • Incorporation: Incorporating your business has several benefits to it. It may be more beneficial tax wise, it lends credibility to the image of your company, your business will be treated more seriously by investors, banks and such. You can incorporate your business whether it is an online business or not.

  • Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights: Intellectual property law is still a pretty gray area. You may need to make sure that you are not infringing on copyright, trademark or patent laws. An Intellectual Property lawyer can help with this and also help you if you have anything that you want trademarked, copyrighted or patented.

  • Licenses and Contracts: Before signing any legally binding contract or agreement relevant to your Internet business, you should have an attorney look it over to make sure your rights are protected and that you are not signing away the store. Anytime that you enter into any type of contractual situation with vendors, suppliers and so on, it is best to be safe that sorry by having the legalities of the contract or agreement checked out.

  • Internet Law : Because of the 1999 Internet law on “Anti-Cybersquatting”, it is best to consult a lawyer whenever you are thinking about buying expired domain names. Just because they have expired doesn’t mean that they are free Intellectual Property. They may in fact still be under copyright, trademark or some other intellectual property law.

So before you spend money building a website and promoting your new business, make sure that you will not run into legal issues in the future.  The relatively small cost of seeking legal advice may save you much more money down the road.

 
     
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