Everything You Need to Know About Having a Website for your Retail Business

Website Privacy Policy

Does your website need a privacy policy?

Yes. A privacy policy is a statement that informs users with how your website collects, uses, and processes their data. It is extremely important to include a privacy policy on your business’s website.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates data protection for consumers within the United States. A number of laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require websites that collect personal information from users to have privacy policies. 

While Florida does not have a specific law that requires websites to have privacy policies, a multitude of states and countries have privacy laws that apply to consumers of those locations, regardless of where the website and store is based. Additionally, under the CCPA, websites that collect personal user data from California residents must present users the option to request a copy or the deletion of their data. For example, if you have a website for your business in Miami, Florida, you will still likely need to comply with the CCPA if your website collects personal data from California residents. 

Additionally, if your website receives traffic from citizens of the European Union, you will have to provide a Cookie Policy that gives the user the option to opt in or opt out of using cookies under the GDPR. 

Does your website need terms and conditions?

Terms and Conditions, which are usually displayed on a separate Terms & Conditions page, provide users with the rules of your website. Having a Terms & Conditions page gives your website powerful tools such as: 

  • Disclaimers with respect to liability
  • Relevant clauses in the event your business is subjected to legal action, such as a governing law clause specifying which laws will apply in a legal dispute
  • notices of copyrights and trademarks 

Terms and conditions are not technically required, but they are mandatory disclosures that apply to transactions. For example, the Uniform Commercial Code requires written disclaimers of warranties. The Children’s On-Line Privacy Protections Act requires disclosures for websites that collect information about children under thirteen. Terms and conditions are highly recommended for your business to include provisions concerning liability, warranties, and terms regarding delivery and returns.

Does your website need to be ADA Compliant?

Yes. The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that the ADA’s Title III requirement that “goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations” offered by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to those with disabilities extends to websites. Businesses should follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and make efforts to develop an accessibility policy to avoid potential Title III liability.

Some basic considerations you can take in ensuring your website is ADA compliant are:

  • Providing sufficient contrast between foreground and background
  • Providing controls for content that starts automatically
  • Providing clear and consistent navigation options
  • Providing easily identifiable feedback
  • Making interactive elements easily identifiable
  • Including clearly associated labels on form elements
  • Including image and media alternatives in your design
  • Using headings and spacing to group related content
  • Creating designs for different viewport sizes
  • Not using color alone to convey information

Does your website need a registered trademark?

While not technically required, registered trademarks offer a multitude of advantages and protections. Websites for retail businesses should have registered trademarks to protect their intellectual assets, branding and products. Regardless of the size of your business, trademarks allow you to protect your brand identity. Registered trademarks are also crucial for liability purposes to ensure that your business is not infringing on the intellectual property of other businesses. To register a trademark, you must apply for officially registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. 

Does your website need a registered copyright of the content?

Copyrights are not technically required, but they are necessary to protect your website against copyright infringement in which another business copies your content. Your business should comply with copyright laws, as purposefully or accidentally reusing someone else’s content can subject your business to legal action. Each piece of content on a website can be copyrighted. You can copyright the content on your business’s website through the United States Copyright Office. 

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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