4 Tips before setting up an international eCommerce site

An eCommerce represents a valuable opportunity for any company that aspires to grow in the national and international market.

In this post we will learn a little more about the details required to take your eCommerce to an international level, thus increasing your chances of increasing sales and profitability.

To do this, you will first need to get up to speed with all the regulations and legal requirements for marketing in the European Union (EU). You should bear in mind that owning a web-based business involves commitments that are sometimes more complex and demanding than those of a physical shop.

Then follow the following recommendations and tips before setting up an international eCommerce.

1. Incorporates a Multilingual System to the website

It will be advisable to consider incorporating a multilingual system into the website to facilitate access and understanding for different international users, so that they can access information in different languages, thus offering convenience and security.

2. Define the activity and legal form and comply with the tax requirements of registering with the Tax Authorities and Social Security.

Define the activity of the business, what you will sell, choose the legal form, whether it will be self-employed, cooperative, unlimited company, or other.

Proceed to register with the Tax Authorities and Social Security, specifying the corresponding Economic Activities Tax heading.

In the case of international sales, you must include a Register of Intra-Community Operators.

3. Knows and complies with the general legal requirements for setting up an online shop.

You should be aware that setting up an eCommerce business requires compliance with regulations on the protection of potential customers’ personal data, obligations related to distance selling, cookie policies, and consumer protection specifications.

In addition, you must be able to issue VAT invoices, identify basic business data, as well as provide systems for queries and complaints.

General Law for the Defence of Consumers and Users

The legal regulations that apply to the European Union (EU) in terms of consumer protection must be strictly complied with, and cover the following aspects:

  • It is mandatory to clearly and precisely state the final price of a product or service before completing the transaction, which must be duly accepted by the buyer.
  • It specifies the legal deadlines for deliveries, as well as for returns, which must be a maximum of 14 days.
  • It protects the consumer’s right to renounce the purchase, for which a form must be made available to the user where he can cancel his order.
  • It establishes the responsibility of the eCommerce owner for any damage that the product may suffer during shipment to the buyer.

Electronic Commerce Act

You should be aware that there are legal regulations regarding the handling of eCommerce. Therefore, it will be necessary to include the corresponding “Legal Notice” on the website, where the information related to eCommerce is shown, such as the name of the company, its registered office, and NIF (Tax Identification Number).

Data Protection Act

There are also regulations for the use of users’ personal data in order to safeguard the privacy and prevent the misuse of this data, as well as the use of personal data without the consent of the owners.

The cookie regulations must also be complied with, so it is mandatory to notify the users of the website about the use of cookies.

Retail Trade Act

It is mandatory to provide complete and accurate information about the goods being sold, as well as everything that is related to the purchasing process in eCommerce:

  • The full description and characteristics of the products
  • The shipping costs, whether they are to be covered by the customer or at the eCommerce’s expense
  • Methods of payment
  • Delivery time
  • Return policies

4. Discover everything about taxes and customs

Personal income tax is compulsory. On the other hand, you must add the corresponding VAT. In Spain 21% applies but you must adapt according to the country requesting the service and previously manage the procedure to obtain the VAT number, being the common question what is a VAT number, for the EU.

Other taxes to be taken into account are:

  • Tobacco tax
  • Tax on mineral oils
  • Tax on alcohol

It is important to know that the SAD (Single Administrative Document) is an obligatory declaration form in the case of international purchases or sales of products.

If you are planning to import or export to countries belonging to the European Union, it will be compulsory to present the SAD to the Customs authorities, together with the related goods.

In conclusion, if you want to sell in Europe through international eCommerce, these tips will be really useful. Put them into practice, you will not regret it!