E-commerce can be defined as the buying and selling of products and services via electronic systems, mainly, the internet.
Companies that wish to use this channel to sell their products in Spain must, however, bear in mind that there are regulations and legal aspectes of online sales in Spain, regarding the creation of e-commerce businesses or for selling via the internet.
Legal aspects of online trade
The legal obligations that affect businesses not on the internet are equally applicable to online businesses. That is to say, prior authorization or necessary administrative license to open a specific business is also an obligatory requirement in order to operate online. In the same way, online businesses must comply with the rest of the commercial, fiscal, employment, etc., obligations that physical businesses do.
Various regulations exist that are of special relevance to e-commerce businesses in Spain, such as Law 15/1999 for Data Protection (LOPD) or Law 34/2002 for Information and E-commerce Business Services (LSSICE), amongst others.
It should be noted that, according to the LSSICE, if a company provides any of the following services online or via their web page:
- The sale of goods and services by electronic means,
- Sending of commercial communications,
- Provision of information by online or electronic means,
it is legally obliged to provide users in a clear and visible format, with certain legal texts adapted to the activity that is carried out via the web, its characteristics and specific functions.
Expert advice on the matter should be sought regarding the drafting of the legal texts given that the activity of online retailers or e-commerce and their sales are legally considered to be distance selling, which grants buyers with a series of rights on distance contracting to protect them.
On the other hand, online businesses must comply with what is established in the LOPD:
- Prior notification of files to the Spanish Data Protection Agency
- Information for clients and users
- Availability of technical and organizational security measures
- Duty of secrecy and confidentiality (except notification to the interested party of data transferred to third parties).
- A signed contract on data handling if the web page is based on external servers and an information technician from outside the company to conduct the maintenance
Legal aspects of the online sales in Spain should taken into account in order to comply with the spanish regulations and guarantee the business’s success.
This article is not considered as legal advice