Online Business and Legal Landmines

Online Business and Legal Landmines – What to Watch Out For

Doing business online is full of opportunities. Access to a national (or international) audience, the ability to augment your ‘offline’ offering and an efficient way to spend your advertising and marketing dollars are all form ticks in the ‘pros’ column.

But while the cons are limited, there are some essential tips and legal considerations to be aware of when thinking about online business. Knowing them can help you plan properly and hopefully be mindful of any avoidable (but potentially expensive) mistakes that could be made.

Intellectual Property (IP) – Domain Names

In online business, IP is most likely your domain name or web address.’ A few things to note – just because you have registered a business name with a regulator, or even if you have a company, that doesn’t mean you have any ‘right’ to the same web address.

So, if your business is Sunrise Furniture, and your registered company name is the same, nothing stops another company from buying the domain name ‘’. A competitor could even buy the domain name and then redirect anyone who clicked on it to their own website, potentially costing you a customer.

In Australia, domain names are ‘rented’ rather than ‘owned’. That also means you’ll want to keep on top of when any renewals are due to avoid dramas with re-registering a name if it lapses.

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