E-commerce is an important part of how goods are purchased and business is conducted in the United States. The term e-commerce refers to business that is conducted online. Every time that you purchase something from an online store like Amazon.com or a brick-and-mortar store with a website like Barnes and Noble, you engage in e-commerce. Of course, if you chose to sell your goods or services online through a business website or a site like eBay or Craigslist, then you are also engaging in e-commerce. Doing business online creates many of the same legal issues as doing business in a more traditional manner. Buyers and sellers should be aware that their agreement is a binding contract, for example, and that they are bound by consumer protection and unfair competition laws. Additionally, e-commerce participants should be concerned about choice of law issues - they must understand which states govern their transactions and they must be concerned about protecting privacy of information shared on the Internet. E-commerce is a powerful business tool that is vitally important to many businesses - especially if business owners take the legal precautions necessary to ensure profitability.
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