The goal of starting an online business is to make a profit. The size and profitability of a business depends on the time and effort placed into it. There are several ways to build your (online) business. You can sell your own products, offer products from others, or even sell business advertisements. The beauty of the internet for international business is that it has no closing time. Your website may welcome visitors 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. There is no physical store with similar low operational costs that can beat this. However, one must realize that building an online business takes time, effort and compliance with several (international) rules and regulation.
Entrepreneurship is challenging. There are several mandatory side issues that drive business owners away from their core activities. Ownership of a legal entity holds several administrative duties. Most sales lead to turnover and profit, which is often subject to taxation. The nature of the business and products offered can justify entry into different countries and markets. Where the website is accessible in the European single market, the website owner may be subject to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This binding Regulation protects all data from natural persons in the European Union. It is important to realize that the location of the data subject in the European Economic Area (EEA) prevails and the location of the website and its owner is irrelevant.
Online business activities
Data protection is an important part of the sales process. GDPR supervisory authorities mainly respond to complaints from third parties. These complaints can be the result of a data breach or frustration of a request by the data subject. Also, consumer organizations and envious competitors can do some harm. Yet, compliance with the regulation does not have to be hard. It will cost you some time but with the appropriate tools you can even use it to your advantage in new business and competitive markets.
Commission based and direct sales
Online businesses are in the marketing business. They promote business or services from others or themselves. When own products are offered, the owner is most probably both the data processor as well as the data collector. As such, there is a responsibility to fully comply with the GDPR Regulation. For lead generation and affiliate or commission based activities, there can be a joint responsibility under the GDPR. This is something to carefully examine before an online presence allows individual data subjects to visit a website, optimize their user experience, or leave their contact information. As said before, compliance with individual data protection regulation does not have to be difficult. There is efficient and effective GDPR and data protection software available that helps online businesses to appropriately and expeditiously follow the rules.
Data protection software
Online business owners and marketers, who take their business serious, should consider using data protection software. Software avoids that you have to invent the wheel yourself. Where data subjects want to change or remove their personal data, GDPR and data protection software offers you a swift solution. It also contributes to swift compliance and where you need to share the data you hold on subjects with the supervisory authority, you can easily login to a protected environment and share the requested data.