Business legal services in Silicon Valley

California Consumer Privacy Acts for Commercial Websites

Consumer Privacy Acts for Commercial Websites

Recent changes to California consumer privacy laws affect most e-commerce websites in the state, and it is critical for business owners who run e-commerce websites to understand consumer rights and business responsibilities. Whether you are currently running an e-commerce website or considering the possibility of launching one soon, you should seek advice from an experienced California business lawyer about the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 and Prop 24. Both laws expand consumer privacy rights, and it is important for companies to comply with these laws. Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai can assist you in drafting and updating business privacy policies to ensure that your company remains in compliance with current state law.

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) took effect on January 1, 2020, and it impacts most e-commerce websites viewed by California residents if the business (i.e., the website owner) collects any information from the consumer either directly or indirectly and then sells the information. The responsibilities of e-commerce sites under the new law extend relatively widely because the definition of the word “sale” is defined broadly.

What this means for your business is that, if you have a website where you conduct any kind of e-commerce and you collect information from consumers who visit the site, it is critical to seek advice from a California business law attorney about your company’s privacy policy. Most company privacy policies drafted prior to January 1, 2020—when the new law took effect—will not be in compliance. It may be necessary to completely redraft your company’s privacy policy in order to comply, or at the very least, to revise the policy accordingly.

As a business owner, you should know that this law specifically lays out format requirements and provides detailed information to California residents about their privacy rights and how to exercise their rights. As such, businesses could face claims from informed consumers if they do not take steps to ensure that their privacy policies are in compliance.

Prop 24 Further Expands Consumer Privacy Rights

Beyond the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, Prop 24 also expands consumer privacy rights in the state. This law passed in November 2020. It amends the CCPA with a “more comprehensive privacy scheme,” according to Brookings, creating the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).

The new law requires businesses to protect personal information collected from consumers by “reasonably minimizing data collection, limiting data retention, and protecting data security.” It also requires businesses in California to “conduct privacy risk assessments and cybersecurity audits, and regularly submit them to regulators.” Consumers may also opt out of the sale or sharing of their personal data.

Contact a California Business Law Attorney for Assistance

Website owners and companies that engage in e-commerce need to work with an experienced California business lawyer to draft new policies or to update existing policies to guarantee compliance with new consumer privacy laws in California. Attorney Lynnette Ariathurai has years of experience representing business owners in Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Gilroy, Milpitas, Union City, East Bay, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Newark and can talk with you today about reviewing, drafting, and updating privacy policies for your website. Contact us to learn more.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Two Things to Consider When Starting a Software Company

business lawyer

Starting a software company is an exciting enterprise. Tech folklore is full of stories of people building billion-dollar companies from ideas that were generated in their parents’ garage. The stakes are high. Successful ideas have made some people very rich. Poorly executed ideas have left other people in debt with unsurmountable financial losses.

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Business legal services in Silicon Valley

Attorney for Internet-Based Business

business lawyer

The beauty of the Internet is that it creates online experiences that connect people worldwide to solutions or products that your company offers. And an Internet-based business can get off the ground without the big budget and deep pockets needed to launch a brick and mortar storefront. Digital storefronts are fast and nimble, and you can launch them relatively quickly without a huge investment in infrastructure for business operations.

An important partner for your Internet-based business is an experienced and competent business attorney to handle the legal affairs of your company or provide advice as it launches, grows, and expands to new products, services, markets, or business acquisitions.

Below are some best practices surrounding the topic of what new Internet-based businesses should look for when hiring a lawyer:

  • Look for an attorney you can trust. A competent, responsive, and experienced attorney in the area of Internet-based business is a great place to start. People skills, such as trust, congeniality, and relatability, are important and often overlooked considerations.
  • Don’t wait for a problem to hire a lawyer. Just because start-up costs for an Internet-based business are low relative to bricks and mortar launches does not mean that your start-up does not need a lawyer. Lawyers are invaluable for any transactions involving the government, interactions with customers, suppliers, users, employees, and the public. Specific tasks that lawyers help start-ups accomplish include:
  • Incorporation and forming a business entity
  • Hiring employees
  • Negotiating contracts with customers and suppliers, including establishing terms of service for websites and license agreements for software
  • Raising capital
  • Obtaining copyrights, patents, and trademarks

What if your legal budget is small, which priorities should you focus on?

There are certain legal tasks that must be addressed early in the development of your Internet-based business. Proper business formation, including selecting an LLC or corporation to protect you from business liability, should happen before your launch. Establishing ownership and equity rights of the company when there are multiple founders, along with their corresponding responsibilities, are the second most important tasks to resolve, early in the life of your startup.

Sort out your taxes, and determine which ones need to be paid concurrently with the posting of your income, such as sales and use taxes, as well as understanding the tax consequences of business forms. Lastly, Internet-based businesses are intellectual property. Make sure that your idea, and any software developed to run your business is legally protected and owned by the company, especially if you use independent contractors to develop software or apps.

Experience Handling Business Formations

If you are an aspiring business owner or entrepreneur seeking an attorney for starting and building an Internet-based business, we can help you turn your ideas into actions. Our Fremont business attorneys can partner with you to build a lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial. Contact us today for an initial legal consultation in Fremont, CA as well as Newark, Hayward, East Bay, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, and Santa Clara. We look forward to putting our legal experience to work for you.

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39300 Civic Center Dr #110, Fremont, CA 94538

Serving Businesses and Start Ups in the Greater Bay Area including Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Castro Valley, Milpitas, and Newark, CA.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.