Online Store Regulations. 5 Most Common Mistakes.


Undoubtedly, the online store regulations constitute an important legal document of the online store, as it fulfills the function of a contractual pattern in sales relations with the customer. It contains the rights and obligations of the buyer and the entrepreneur conducting sales within the online store.

The e-commerce industry has been steadily growing for years, but during the pandemic, more and more online stores and services are being created and carried out online. Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs still do not have a regulations at all or do not have regulations adapted to the specifics of the activity carried out or do not adapt it to the constantly changing legal regulations. A properly constructed regulations is the foundation of the functioning of online activity, builds a positive image of the company and arouses trust among buyers. What is most important, however, it allows to avoid negative consequences in relations with the buyer, as well as with state authorities. The appropriate regulations protects both parties, who, due to the transparency of the legal relationship, know what they can expect within its framework.

The most common mistakes in online store regulations:

  1. Failure to fulfill the obligation of information
  2. Unlawful contractual clauses
  3. No adaptation of the regulations to changing legal regulations
  4. Non-adaptation of the regulations to the specifics of the activity carried out
  5. Copying regulations of other online stores

1. Failure to fulfill the obligation of information

The Act of 27 July 2002 on special conditions of consumer sales contains provisions obliging the entrepreneur to inform the consumer about certain circumstances. The implementation of this obligation within the provided regulations ensures the store customer the possibility of familiarizing themselves with its provisions, as the lack of acceptance of the regulations prevents the realization of a given transaction. Comprehensive regulations in this area enable the buyer to fully familiarize themselves with the manner of performing the contract at all its stages, and protect the seller from potential costs associated with the failure to fulfill the information obligation. By way of example, the lack of information by the entrepreneur about the right to withdraw from the contract results in the extension of the withdrawal period from 14 days to 12 months.

2. Unlawful contractual clauses

The imprecise formulation of the regulations of the regulations and the lack of knowledge of the applicable law may result in the inclusion of unlawful contractual clauses (so-called abusive clauses) in the regulations of the online store. They have an extremely important significance in the case of products or services directed to buyers who are consumers. Abusive clauses are those contractual provisions that shape the rights and obligations of the consumer in a manner contrary to good morals and grossly violating his interests. The conclusion of such provisions means that they are invalid by law and no legal consequences can be derived from them. The entrepreneur is particularly negatively affected in this case, as such actions expose him to the control of the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection and the imposition of a severe financial penalty. The maximum penalty in such a case may amount to 10% of the turnover achieved in the financial year preceding the year of imposition of the penalty. In the event of publishing appropriate data in the register of unlawful clauses by the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, the seller's reputation is usually reduced, as he is considered unprofessional and infringing the rights of consumers with his actions.

3. Lack of adaptation of the regulations to changing legal regulations

At least several legal acts are directly and indirectly related to running an online store. Due to the dynamic development of the e-commerce industry, there are more and more of them and they are subject to regular changes. Many sellers, after posting the regulations on their online store page, no longer moderate the ongoing changes and do not update the existing records, leaving the regulations in an unchanged form. This may, among other things, result in the inclusion of already described abusive clauses in the regulations, which are prohibited under applicable law. To avoid negative consequences, the content of the regulations requires regular updating.

4. Non-compliance of the regulations with the specifics of the business conducted

The subject and type of business conducted necessarily determine the content of the provisions contained in the regulations. Depending on the type of goods sold (e.g. digital/physical, new/used), it will be necessary to take into account other issues within the content of the regulations made available. As an example, the right of withdrawal from the contract works differently in the case of the sale of clothing than in the case of the sale of food products. The lack of individual regulations makes it impossible to comprehensively and clearly regulate the business conducted.

5. Copying regulations of other online stores

First of all, it should be noted that this is illegal activity, which constitutes a violation of copyright and may result in the need to repair the damage caused, e.g. in the form of payment of an appropriate sum of money. Regardless of the detection of the violation described above, the entrepreneur primarily harms himself, as he exposes himself to the duplication of other people's mistakes contained in the copied online store regulations. The online store regulations should first of all meet the needs of a specific seller and protect his interests, taking into account the type of goods sold or services provided.


Indeed, with the launch of their online store, many entrepreneurs focus on the look and functionality of the store's website, providing an attractive assortment and taking care of the appropriate marketing strategy. However, a comprehensive and content-compliant regulation is an investment that pays off every day of the online store's operation. The right regulation is both the foundation and the glue of the entrepreneur's entire business, which builds the image and credibility of the company. The conviction of the seller's reliability and honesty is easiest to achieve through a concise and clear regulation.

The article was prepared by the Law Office of Arkadiusz Jaskuła, which provides legal services for companies, also for SOTE and our customers:

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