Expanding Online Sales into the UK and Elsewhere in the EU: Practical Issues for US Retailers Taking the First Step
United States (US) retailers selling goods and services via the internet may well be looking for expansion opportunities overseas. Those looking to expand or start trading into the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere in the European Union (EU) need to be aware of some of the regulatory and legal issues involved in distance selling (i.e., online sales). While some larger retailers may be in a position to set up overseas trading subsidiaries and local websites from the start, other companies elect to test the marketplace and the international appetite for their brand first by launching online sales only.
Whichever route is chosen, retailers should be aware that there are significant differences in the regulatory approach between the US and the UK/EU that may impact their existing websites and terms and conditions of sale. To help make the most of your expansion plans, we set out below some key issues to consider at an early stage.