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How To Properly Structure an E-commerce Business

How to properly structure an e-Commerce business

If you are planning to start an e-commerce business, it is important to make sure that your business has a proper structure. There are many companies selling and buying goods online, so ensuring your e-commerce business starts out on the right foot is vital. And since business requirements differ in various parts of the world, researching location-specific requirements is essential.

To properly structure an e-commerce business, you must familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that apply in your jurisdiction. The U.S., A.U., and U.K. all have different laws that must be followed when you start a business online.

This article will address how to structure an e-commerce business properly and the legalities to be aware of depending on whether you reside in the U.S., A.U., or U.K.

Take Care of Basics Like a Website and Bank Account

Once you have an idea for a product to sell online, you want to follow a few basic steps to ensure your e-commerce business is structured properly, including but not limited to the following:

  • Researching the market you are interested in pursuing

  • Creating a business plan

  • Setting up a domain and website

  • Setting up a business bank and credit account

Additionally, learning about SEO can be immensely beneficial so that you can incorporate it into your online website for customers to find you easily.

Consider Region-Specific Regulations

Once you have the basics for your e-commerce business setup, find out the regulations that impact business operations in the country you reside in.

How To Structure an e-Commerce Business in the U.S.

A few action items you should take note of are as follows:

  • Check that your business name is unique by referring to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

  • Register your business type as a Corporation, LLC, or L.P.

  • Acquire an employer identification number (EIN) through the IRS.

  • Secure a business license to operate legally in the U.S.

How To Structure an e-Commerce Business in the A.U.

Structuring your e-commerce business properly in the A.U. also has some differences regarding rules and regulations.

First, you want to ensure that the product you decide to sell follows Australian Consumer Law (ACL) standards.

You can then proceed to ensure the following requirements are met for your e-commerce business:

How To Structure an e-Commerce Business in the U.K.

The U.K. has some variations when it comes to structuring your e-commerce business properly.

There are a few regulatory items you should follow, specifically in the England and Wales jurisdictions, including:

  • Registering your business with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or Companies House.

  • Ensuring you have a data privacy policy setup.

  • Acquiring a business license or permit.

  • Checking if you fall under legal obligations to get insurance.

  • Filing an online application for your trademark on the Intellectual Property U.K. website.

Please note that while HMRC and Companies House are different government entities in the U.K., they’re connected for business filing purposes.

Furthermore, you’ll need to include specific items on your website related to your company to avoid fines in the U.K., including but not limited to:

  • Company registration number

  • Well-defined pricing guidelines

  • Professional associations

  • Terms and conditions

  • Disclaimers

Final Thoughts

An e-commerce business can be very successful, especially when structured properly.

When starting a business, there are basics to follow, such as coming up with a name, setting up a website, and establishing related accounts.

You’ll find differences in legal requirements depending on whether your e-commerce business is established in the U.S., A.U., or U.K.

It’s a good idea to thoroughly research all e-commerce business requirements in your country before operations begin.

If you liked this ultimate guide to structuring your ecommerce business you might also like the weekly Female Startup Club Newsletter, which features the incredibly inspiring stories of 400+ female founders we have interviewed to date.

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