IBA, as the premier business brokerage firm in the Pacific Northwest, is firmly established as a respected professional service firm in the legal, accounting, banking, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and financial planning communities. Periodically, we will post guest blogs from professionals with knowledge to share for the good of owners of privately held companies & family owned businesses. The following blog has been provided by Robert Sailer of the Pacific Northwest Law Group (www.pnwlg.com):
Protect Your Online Identity
It is hard to run a business these days without having an online presence. If your company has a website, it is important that the website provide the customer experience the company desires. It is also important that the website complies with the law. Perhaps most importantly, it is important that a website protects the intellectual property of the company. A well-designed website can do all of these things.
A company using a website to conduct part (or all) of their business should follow these ten important tips:
- When contracting with someone to develop or improve your website, use a written Assignment and Work for Hire Agreement with a website developer. This ensures that your company will own your site, including the HTML code and design.
- Register your domain name as soon as possible. Obtain federal or foreign trademark registration for domain names to protect against third parties.
- Review all content. Ensure that the content is accurate and that there are not any fair advertising, intellectual property rights and or Securities Exchange Commission issues present. When in doubt, have an attorney review or delete the questionable content.
- Do not copy content from other websites without permission.
- Depending on the type of website your company has, it may be advisable to include a third-party Use Policy, Terms and Conditions, or Clickwrap Agreement.
- Do not link to another site without carefully reviewing the other site first.
- Use security measures to help website performance if your site is attacked.
- Post a security statement on your site, and designate an employee to manage your company’s security responsibilities.
- Ensure that your website’s technical architecture is sufficiently robust for its purpose.
- Take your website seriously. This is often a customer’s first interaction with your company, and their first impression can impact their decision to transact business with your company. Get the legal and technical assistance necessary to ensure your website is a valuable business asset.
The Pacific Northwest Law Group provides legal assistance to ensure your website complies with relevant laws and regulations. PNWLG can also help you protect your intellectual property rights. Contact Bob Sailer at (425) 867-0512 or Bob@pnwlg.com for additional information and assistance.