As convenience has become a priority for consumers, online platforms are all the rage among both established entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. However, to help ensure that an online channel that you’re opening up is legal and prevent unintentional violations, we’ve compiled here some of the major laws that entrepreneurs should know before venturing into the world of online business.
Commercial Registration Law
The first law related to online entrepreneurs is the Commercial Registration Act B.E. 2499 (A.D. 1956). The Act prescribes that those selling products or services through a website or via Facebook and Instagram are obligated to obtain an e-commerce registration to allow for the identification of the business owners and deter scams. They are also required to show their registration number on their online channel as well. For further information on the required documents, procedure, and fees, please contact the Department of Business Development or visit its website.
Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Law
As the sale products and services to consumers via online channels is considered direct marketing as defined in the Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Act, B.E. 2545 (A.D. 2002), business owners must register with the Office of Consumer Protection Board before they can run their business. Those failing to do so are liable to imprisonment for a term of not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding 100,000 baht or both, and a fine not exceeding 10,000 baht per day throughout the duration of the violation. For further information, you can contact the Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Division of the Office of Consumer Protection Board.
Electronic Transaction Law
Created with online business in mind, the electronic transaction law recognizes electronic information as having the same legal status as information made in writing, which means that any printout of electronic information, such as electronic receipts and invoices, may be used in place of the original or admitted as evidence in a court of law. This makes it possible for entrepreneurs to send electronic documents to their customers as proofs of transaction.
Computer-Related Crime Law
The Computer-related Crime Act B.E. 2550 (A.D. 2007) contains sections on possible offences arising from entering illegal information into a computer system, and many of these are directly relevant to entrepreneurs, including the use of online information to deceive and mislead customers to believe that certain products for sale truly exist and the use of product pictures that do not belong to the vendor with fraudulent intent. Offenders are liable to both fines and imprisonment.
Consumer Protection Law
Any form of advertisement used in online business must comply with the Advertisement Consumer Protection Act B.E. 2522. In essence, an advertisement must not contain any statement that is unfair to consumers or that may produce adverse effects on society at large, such as statements that are false or exaggerated, statements that cause fundamental misunderstanding about the goods or services, and statements that either directly or indirectly support violation of law.