Selling online: consumer contracts


In UK law certain elements must be present for contracts to be legally binding. These elements are an offer, an acceptance, consideration and an intention to create legal relations.

Although trading over the internet is often seen as a more informal way of doing business, the same rules apply as with the formation of other types of contract. The issue can be confused by the fact that in e-commerce the trader and customer are never face to face and are sometimes in different countries.

Online selling regulations are intended to ensure that electronic contracts are binding and enforceable throughout Europe.

This guide will explain the essential terms of online contracts and provide advice on the main issues to consider when selling goods online. However, it is not a substitute for professional legal advice.