Wednesday, February 28, 2024

How to start e-commerce or an online business?


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E-commerce or online business is becoming popular day by day. Numerous organizations in the country and outside the country are conducting the daily business of crores of dollars in the world.

Recently, due to the popularity of e-commerce, the commerce ministry of the government has formulated a new digital e-commerce policy.

Currently, all types of e-commerce companies operating within Bangladesh must conduct business in accordance with these principles. So if you are thinking of starting e-commerce or an online business then today’s article is for you.

What is e-commerce?

Buying and selling through digital way mean is simply called e-commerce or online business. According to this policy, e-commerce is defined as a digital medium or Internet commerce site or portal where multiple products or services are listed and sold through transactions.

Even Facebook is seen launched an e-commerce platform recently and many of you are selling many products directly on Facebook Marketplace.

Facebook Shopping is also included in the digital marketplace. So you understand that e-commerce actually means online shops.

Rules for starting an e-commerce business

If you want to sell a specific product or a variety of products online, then you need to complete several legal procedures and then start the business. Your online business platform means a virtual store or organization.

According to the Digital Commerce Management Guidelines 2021 review, all individuals or organizations operating digital commerce must obtain a trade license from the relevant jurisdiction. You can say it is absolutely essential to work.

Then register VAT where applicable if your digital commerce directly imports any products. Also, a TIN certificate should be done in the name of the owner or organization of digital commerce.

At least one Unique Business Identification Number (UBID) or Personal Retail Account (PRA) number should be adopted if your digital commerce company is registered and operated as a sole proprietorship or joint venture. Also, your digital marketplace or social media page should showcase it.

This policy states that if a foreign company wants to conduct e-commerce in Bangladesh, it must be registered in this country to do business in Bangladesh.

License for sale of drugs and explosives

However, in another section of this policy, it is stated that the purchase and sale of medicines and medical supplies can be managed by obtaining a license from the Department of Medicines Administration.

Also, if you want to sell inflammable materials such as gas cylinders, firecrackers, etc., you have to get a license from the Directorate of Explosives.

So it is clear that if you want to sell medicines or flammable substances in the digital marketplace, you need to take separate license from the concerned department.

Rules for displaying and selling products in e-commerce

According to the Digital Commerce Management Guidelines 2021, in the case of presentation of products or services for purchase and sale, all the details and conditions of the related products or services such as – product price refund conditions, changes, and product delivery period must be clearly mentioned in Bengali.

Moreover, the proper description of the product or service to be sold in the marketplace, product measurement, material, color, shape, quality, price, and any other charges including delivery, if any, are asked to be clearly mentioned.

In a word, arrangements should be made so that the buyer gets a complete understanding of the product and can buy the product with understanding. Any kind of offer, discount, free delivery or any other benefit with the product should be clearly mentioned in the product description.

Products displayed for sale on your digital marketplace must be under your control or, in the case of multi-vendor marketplaces, under the control of the respective organization.

The quantity of the product in stock is mentioned with the product and after the sale of each product, the stock of the product is said to be released.

If a product is not in stock with the digital marketplace organization or contracted organization then the words “out of stock” should be clearly written next to the product. There are restrictions on accepting any payment for out-of-stock products.

To be done in taking the advance price of goods

Debit cards or various mobile banking currencies are used as a means of exchanging goods in e-commerce or online business. Which we can also call virtual currency.

According to the online business policy, in the case of selling products in the online marketplace, if you cannot deliver the product on time by taking the advance price, then you have been told to refund the price within 10 days.

Moreover, if there is any kind of charge in this transaction, then it is said to be borne by the e-commerce establishment. The policy also states that after the refund, the customer must be informed about the refund via SMS or mobile.

If there is a cashback offer with the sale of a product then it must be paid within 72 hours.

Online business product delivery terms and conditions

According to the Digital Commerce Management Guidelines 2021, the goods displayed for sale in the digital marketplace for sale are to be handed over to the deliveryman or delivery company within 48 hours of payment of the full price, and the buyer is asked to inform the buyer about the process through mobile phone, e-mail or SMS.

In the case of advance payment, another clause is mentioned here that if the buyer-seller is located in the same city, the goods should be delivered within a maximum of 05 (five) days after receiving the purchase order, and if located in different cities or villages, a maximum of 10 (ten) days.

But in case of daily necessities and perishable goods, the delivery time will be shorter and the buyer should be clearly informed at the time of placing the purchase order.

In the case of delivery, a separate delivery charge cannot be imposed on a Purchase Order. However, if the delivery location of different products is different, different charges may apply.

Payment of printed bill at the time of product delivery is also mentioned in this policy which will mention the VAT and Income Tax payable.

Which is prohibited in conducting e-commerce or online business

The same policy prohibits multi-level marketing (MLM) or network business operations through e-commerce businesses. Moreover, your online business is prohibited from buying and selling drugs, explosives or any goods or services prohibited by the prevailing laws of the country.

The organization or participation in online betting or online gambling is prohibited by this policy. There are also restrictions on holding any kind of lottery or raffle draw. However, any digital platform can organize lotteries subject to government approval.

Recently some digital commerce platforms have been seen offering gift cards or digital wallets for shopping from various establishments in exchange for money.

This policy prohibits the use or sale of digital wallets, gift cards, cash vouchers or any other medium that can be used as a substitute for money.

Customer service and regulations in e-commerce

After establishing an e-commerce company, there are some important tasks, including hiring the company’s employees. According to the e-commerce policy, necessary communication systems should be in place to receive consumer and customer complaints regarding products and services in e-commerce.

Moreover, a compliance officer should be appointed in the e-commerce company. He may also coordinate with other organizations including the Directorate of Consumer Protection, including receiving complaints.

A solution should be arranged within 72 hours of receiving a complaint from a customer and the details should be communicated via e-mail, SMS, or mobile phone.

Here another thing is said that in e-commerce, the rating or opinion of the buyer or anyone else should be kept about the product or service so that in the future the buyer can make a purchase decision by looking at the opinion or review of other buyers about the product.

Legal Advice

All the above discussions are written in light of the National Digital Commerce Policy. Trying to give a very brief idea about e-commerce. Among these, before starting an e-commerce company, the advice of a good consultant is essential.

So we think there is no substitute for a legal consultant for your organization to manage e-commerce properly in accordance with the law. Various government agencies can block your business for many reasons, which are business losses.

Know the law, obey the law. Thanks for staying with Legal Home. Contact us for detailed advice. Various means of communication are provided on our website. Thank you.

Read in Bangla also

Shipta Barua
Shipta Barua
Shipta Barua has been Completed LL.B(Hon's) from Cox's Bazar International University and completed LL.M in Human Rights at Southern University Bangladesh. Writing and discussion about the critical and important topics of law in his choice. For primary Legal support and enrich to the general people legal knowledge he working in the Legal Home.



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