Business Law and Using a Solicitor

7. Other Trading Laws

There are several other aspects of the law you should be aware of.

7.1 The seller is likely to be liable for death, injury or loss to property caused by defective products or services.

  • This includes design, manufacture and marketing defects.
  • Everyone involved in the supply chain (eg retailer, manufacturer etc) can be liable.
  • Third party liability insurance is essential.

7.2 Products must meet safety regulations.

7.3 False descriptions are illegal.

  • A customer can take action against you if he or she buys as a result of a false description (see 3.2).

7.4 Misleading prices are illegal. You must not:

  • Display goods at a low price, and then charge more.
  • Claim to offer a sale price or a discount, when the price has not been genuinely reduced.

7.5 Certain types of business, including businesses which offer credit (other than trade credit), may require a licence.

7.6 Some businesses are subject to extra regulation (eg those selling financial services,food or goods online).

  • For example, the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 place restrictions on telephone sales and give online buyers some extra rights. You must present certain key information clearly.

7.7 Keeping information about individuals (including staff) on a computer means you probably need to notify the Information Commissioner (01625 545745).

  • The Data Protection Act applies to all personal records (including those not on computer) and in particular to any on the internet. Registration costs £35 for a year.
  • You may need to notify the Commissioner even if you record only basic information (eg names and addresses), though there are some strictly-defined exemptions. Ask for a leaflet or go to www.ico.gov.uk.

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