Smart phone, laptop coupled with internet penetration has increased e-commerce transaction in recent years at a very good speed. Therefore every entrepreneur wants to have web presence now like the physical presence which was very important in earlier times. Now both presence (offline and online) seems to be necessity of current times especially for young entrepreneur. However starting a retail customer oriented website or business is not a cake walk. There are lot of nuances and technicalities of the business that a budding entrepreneur has to keep in mind.
We are discussing here some of the major points as under:
1. Form of Business: One must decide at an early stage what form of business suits to him/ her. Whether he/ she will start like a proprietorship firm, partnership firm, LLP or company.
The form of business shall be decided after ascertain and knowing certain facts like Tax Issues, Flexibility, Funding, Recognition and Regulatory Compliance etc. Suppose the business needs funding then starting a company may be helpful keeping in mind the transparency, corporate culture and other business aspects.
An entrepreneur should decide the form of business after considering its pros and cons for which he/ she can see our note on formation of business in start-up lab section and analysis the form which shall be fruitful him/ her.
The legal content should not be copied from other website because every entrepreneur has different business model so the legal content should be devised after considering the need and necessity of the business model.
An entrepreneur for devising the above mentioned documents can have the same in our E-Commerce section.
3. Payment Gateways & SSL: Payment gateway is a medium which enable the credit card or other type of electronic payments. It simplifies the exchanging of information between payment portal (website, mobile phone etc) and processing bank. Some of the payment gateways available in India are Payzippy, payU india, CC Avenue, Citrus Pay, Direcpay etc.
An entrepreneur is suggested to take Secure Security layer (SSL) License for his/ her website for the purpose of keeping the payment and data of the consumer private so that the consumer sensitive information can be well protected.
4. Logistics: Logistic aspects play a key role in most of the e-commerce business because after an order delivery is expected to be reached to the end customer in time with complete satisfaction. So the logistic operation should be clearly devised with proper internal control, policies and documentations including agreements etc.
An entrepreneur can have the documents pertaining to logistics in our E-Commerce section.
5. Legal Aspects: An entrepreneur may be required to devise the following type of Agreement/ Contract as mentioned below depending upon the business model adopted by him/ her irrespective of form of business he/ she has adopted:
a. Vendor/ Franchisee related agreements including master franchisee agreements if any;
b. Agreement with key employees;
c. Gift vouchers & Loyalty agreements etc;
d. Lease agreements, Warehousing agreements;
e. Logistics agreement including cab agreements, courier agreements etc;
f. Marketing agreement likes E-mail based marketing, SMS based marketing, advertisement on TV Channels, Agreement with radio stations etc;
g. Brand ambassador agreements including model hiring agreements, photo shoot agreements etc;
h. Contractual labour supply agreements, agreement with security service provider;
i. Non-Disclosure confidentiality agreements, Non-Compete agreements etc.
An entrepreneur can devise the above mentioned documents and agreements in our E-Commerce section according to his/ her business requirement.
6. Financial Aspects: Following financial aspects needs to be taken care of by an entrepreneur:
a. All the receipts should be properly maintained;
b. Invoicing and relevant communication regarding invoicing like e-mails correspondence to be properly maintained;
c. Detailed financial policies after considering the business model needs:
i. Debtor management
ii. Creditor management
iii. Dunning policy
iv. Branch management
v. Petty cash management policy
vi. Incentive policy
vii. Credit note management policy
d. All the major payments like marketing expenses, employees ‘salary etc should be properly documented.
7. Human Resource: Following Human Resources aspects needs to be taken care of by an entrepreneur:
a. Formulate a policy framework covering appointment, salary terms, compensation, confidentiality, leaves, sexual harassment and exit option after considering industry practice, laws applicable to the business of an entrepreneur;
b. Provisions pertaining to confidentiality, anti-poaching and anti-competition especially for senior employee’s after considering industry practice, laws applicable to the business of an entrepreneur;
c. An entrepreneur can devise the above mentioned documents in our Human Resource section.
8. Intellectual Property Rights: Website, Domains etc. are considered to be intellectual assets for entrepreneurs so it is advisable to an entrepreneur to have these assets registered with the appropriate authority in the name of the business.
9. Operations: Following below mentioned operational aspects, which are of very crucial nature and play key role in the success of the business, to be taken care of by an entrepreneur:
a. Vendor management;
b. IT Infrastructure, use thereof and protection;
c. Logistics management;
d. Storages Issues like warehousing, insurance;
e. Call centre management, etc.
In addition to the above mentioned points which play vital role in the success and failure of any e-commerce industry there are certain other points like terms and condition of invoicing, return and refund policy etc. which also needs to be kept in mind by an entrepreneur for every type of business models whether it is inventory based model or marketplace model.
Kindly note that above discussion is only indicative and very precise therefore users are advised to take proper opinion from the concerned lawyers/financial advisors to initiate any action.