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64% of Adults Plan to Start their Own Business in the Future


Despite the huge challenges facing new business at present, a recent 2022 study by accounting software firm FreeAgent found that 64% of British adults plan to start their own business in the future.

Thanks to the internet, there are now more opportunities to launch a business than ever before. Whatever people are looking to sell, be it products, skills or services, shop-fronts are increasingly digital rather than traditional brick and mortar operations.

Even though starting a business in the digital world may be easier, there is still a web of legal obligations that must be followed – and it can be easy to end up on the wrong side of the law.

Those new businesses need all the help they can get, which is why Business Companion has launched its new guide to Starting an Online Business.

The guide is designed to help traders who sell goods online to establish what their legal responsibilities are and to provide new businesses with an introduction to the UK’s consumer and trading laws.

Divided into easy-to-use sections, Starting an Online Business delves into the important distinctions between selling items online as a business or as an individual, and the different obligations that exist under consumer protection law. The ‘Am I in business?’ section explores the circumstances under which a person selling goods via online marketplaces such as eBay could be considered to be operating a business. There’s also a very useful flowchart which will help sellers learn what sort of venture they are running and what action they need to take.

The section also discusses VAT registration, as well as the threshold at which a private individual selling goods online could potentially be considered to be running a business. Once a certain point is reached, what an individual might consider a hobby or sideline is actually a business in the eyes of the law.

Once it is established that a person selling goods online could be classified as a trader, the second section of the guide addresses frequently asked questions about terms and conditions and legal compliance. All are taken from the experiences of real sellers.

The third section of the resource contains model terms that can be used as a template by traders to help them ensure they comply with consumer protection law. The terms are applicable across a range of selling mechanisms. These include online marketplaces, social media platforms, proprietary e-commerce websites, and any other platform on which a trader sells goods and which is operated by another business.

Available in website format and as a handy downloadable PDF booklet, Starting an Online Business is an indispensable resource for anyone who needs a quick, reliable and up-to-date answer to a query about the nature of their business and its responsibilities. Like all the information available on Business Companion, it is free and written by consumer law experts – in plain English.

Business News Wales