Guide

Selling online and the law

E-commerce Regulations

The 2002 E-commerce Regulations apply to businesses that:

  • sell goods or services to businesses or consumers on the internet, or by email or Short Message Service (SMS), ie text messages
  • advertise on the internet, or by email or SMS
  • convey or store electronic content for customers, or provide access to a communications network

They do not cover direct marketing by phone or fax.

The regulations specify information you must give to customers when you sell online. See provide consumers with contract information.

The regulations also provide guidelines on advertising and promotions. "Commercial communications" must:

  • be clearly recognisable as such
  • say on whose behalf they are sent
  • clearly identify promotional offers and any qualifying conditions

The regulations also cover "unsolicited commercial communications", commonly referred to as spam.