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Top tips for online start-ups

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So you’ve decided to go online. Here are a few basic tips by Wilmari Strachan, director and tech specialist at Werksmans Attorneys.

Register a domain name, trademarks and get social media handles
Firstly, make sure that the name you want to use is not already being used by someone else. You do this by checking that your preferred name is available as a trademark, domain name and on social media. Keep in mind that registering a trademark does not mean you will get the domain name and vice versa. It is important to get the social media handles as soon as you know what your company or Web site name will be. Social media is a powerful marketing tool and you don’t want someone else to have a Facebook or Twitter account with your company’s name.
Also, don’t forget to register the “.sucks” domain for your company. Yes, those are also available now and you would want to make sure no one else registers it.

Get Ts&Cs drafted
You may need: Web site Terms and Conditions (this must comply with various legislation); Acceptable Use Policy (especially if you provide interactive platforms where people can upload content or comments or chat); Privacy Policy; Code of Conduct (certain regulated industries require a Code of Conduct); PAIA manual.

Get a reputable company to host your Web site
Review your hosting contract, particularly the SLA carefully. You want to make sure that downtime is minimised, especially if you have an e-commerce site. There is nothing worse than a Web site that is slow or crashes just as you want to pay.

Get a reliable payment platform
Make sure the payment platform you use is reliable and secure. You will be liable if it isn’t.

Web site design
While planning and designing your Web site, take into account the requirements set out in the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act.