Marketing on the Internet: Legal Rules of the Road

Written by Richard A. Chapo


The Internet is connecting advertisers and marketers to customers from Boston to Bali. If you're thinking about advertising onrepparttar Internet, remember that many ofrepparttar 149633 same rules that apply to other forms of advertising apply to electronic marketing.

The Federal Trade Commission Act allowsrepparttar 149634 FTC to act inrepparttar 149635 interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive and unfair acts or practices. The FTC has determined that a representation, omission or practice is deceptive if it is likely to:

1. Mislead consumers and

2. Affect consumers' behavior or decisions aboutrepparttar 149636 product or service.

In addition, an act or practice is unfair ifrepparttar 149637 injury it causes is:

1. Substantial

2. Not outweighed by other benefits and

3. Not reasonably avoidable.

The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium. That is, advertising must tellrepparttar 149638 truth and not mislead consumers. A claim can be misleading if relevant information is left out or ifrepparttar 149639 claim implies something that's not true. For example, a lease advertisement for an automobile that promotes "$0 Down" may be misleading if significant and undisclosed charges are due at lease signing.

In addition, claims must be substantiated, especially when they concern health, safety, or performance. The type of evidence may depend onrepparttar 149640 product,repparttar 149641 claims, and what experts believe necessary. If your ad specifies a certain level of support for a claim - "tests show X" - you must have at least that level of support.

Internet Partnerships - Donít Throw Away Your Business

Written by Richard A. Chapo


General partnerships are a poor business entity choice when it comes to pursuing business activities. They fail to providerepparttar asset protection shield that should always be put between your business activities and personal assets. Many small businesses, however, find it profitable to combine their product or services with other small businesses. In doing so, they often fail to realize that they are subjecting them torepparttar 149632 same exposure as a general partnership.

Why Even Worry About It?

You put a lot of time, money and sweat into your business. After years of effort, you have it fine-tuned and are making a nice living. How willing are you to lose your business?

Considerrepparttar 149633 following hypothetical situation involving two sole proprietors. Our first party, Programmer, creates computer programs for managing websites. The second party is Mark,repparttar 149634 owner of a site that provides small businesses with websites. Programmer and Mark come torepparttar 149635 conclusion that they can make big money by opening a joint site. This type of situation occurs every day onrepparttar 149636 Internet. How should they do it?

The best option is to form a corporation or LLC. Each party will own an agreed upon percentage ofrepparttar 149637 company. Mark will contribute his marketing ability while Programmer contributes software platforms. The bylaws [administrative rules] ofrepparttar 149638 corporation will detail how profits are divided as well as detailing who gets what [domain name, client list] ifrepparttar 149639 relationship doesnít work out. If a corporation or LLC is not formed, each party exposes their individual businesses to liability just as would occur in a general partnership.

What has been accomplished? Mark and Programmer are protected from liability arising fromrepparttar 149640 new business. Ifrepparttar 149641 company fails or is sued because of problems withrepparttar 149642 software, Mark and Programmer will avoid personal liability and their original businesses are not touched. Are they completely protected? NO!

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