Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘Ecommerce’ Category

30th April 2011

Over the years this blogger has seen large numbers of tourists flock to the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the neighboring nations of Laos, the Union of Myanmar (referred to by some as Burma), Malaysia, and the Kingdom of Cambodia. At the same time, this blogger has also witnessed the metamorphosis of some of these tourists into entrepreneurs by remaining in some of these countries (as well as other jurisdictions in Greater Asia such as Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Nepal, Macau, India, and Sri Lanka; to name only a few) in a business context for many years and; for some, even decades or a whole lifetime. Whatever the circumstances of those Americans Resident Abroad remaining in the region of economies increasingly being labeled by both the mainstream and alternative media outlets by their affiliation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) one thing is clear: the economies of Asia are set to expand at an incredible rate by relative historical comparison. Therefore, it stands to reason that there are likely to be more Americans doing business in these jurisdictions. This state of affairs is occurring at a time when the potential of the internet and the World Wide Web first noted little more than a decade ago is beginning to become fully realized by businesses large and small. As e-commerce becomes an evermore ubiquitous facet of virtually every enterprise’s business strategy it is becoming more clear that many business functions are increasingly being performed by businesses of all sizes online and, in some cases, these businesses are even being maintained from an entrepreneur’s home.

This phenomenon is interesting for this blogger to note from the perspective of an American who is resident in Bangkok, Thailand as the Thai shop-house business model of maintaining a residence and business premises within close proximity has lead to a thriving small business community in the vast metropolis that is Greater Bangkok. This thriving business community, coupled with many of the other positive factors associated with doing business in Thailand, has lead to a vibrant economy that remains conducive to further foreign investment by entrepreneurs and businesses seeking to derive economic benefits both in Thailand and throughout the Asian markets. Of possible importance to Americans resident abroad or those thinking of residing abroad are the issues noted above as well as those associated with ownership of Thai property or Thai real estate especially in the form of a Thai Condominium.

In Thailand, as well as throughout many jurisdictions in Asia, there are restrictions placed upon foreign ownership of real estate. Although there are provisions allowing for foreign ownership of Thai property in many cases it is difficult, if not impossible, for a foreign national to secure freehold title (referred to as Chanote title in Thailand) in Thai real property such as land. However, it may be possible for a foreign national in Thailand, such as an American Citizen, to conveniently secure freehold title to a Thai Condo if the provisions of various laws and regulations on this issue, such as the Thai Condominium Act, are adhered to. Meanwhile, a foreign national who owns a Condo in Thailand may be qualified to receive a Foreign House Registration Booklet (referred to as a Tabien Baan for Thais or a Foreign Tabien Baan, or Yellow Tabien Baan for foreign nationals). Taking the aforementioned factors into consideration, in conjunction with the fact that for American Citizens and American Companies in Thailand there may be benefits pursuant to the provisions of various legal instruments such as the US-Thai Treaty of Amity which may provide the privilege of virtually 100% ownership of a Company in Thailand with “National Treatment” for certain business undertakings, one is left with little doubt that there are tangible legal benefits which could be accrued to the favor of Americans resident in Thailand conducting business in the ASEAN region as well as the regions of Greater Asia. Therefore,  investing in what this blogger would refer to as a “Thai Pad” (which non-literally alludes to the IPad-like gadgets allowing for increasingly easy real time access to the internet as well as the exponentially beneficial combination of privileges accruing to owners of Thai property registered on a Yellow Tabien Baan in conjunction with the advantages which may be had for Americans resident abroad utilizing a Thai company certified under the US-Thai Amity Treaty) could prove to have been prudent by future analysts in both tangible as well as intangible terms.

For related information please see: US Company Registration.

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7th January 2011

It recently came to the attention of the administration of this blog that a new trade complex is to be erected in Bangkok for the purpose of facilitating the trade of Chinese goods in Thailand and Greater South East Asia. To quote directly from the Voice of America News website:

Chinese state media say work will begin this month on a massive trading complex in Bangkok where Chinese manufacturers will be able to re-export their goods.

The China Daily newspaper said Thursday that the China City Complex will cost $1.5 billion and sprawl over almost three-quarters of a square kilometer. Chinese manufacturers will be able to import goods to Thailand, taking advantage of a new free trade deal, and then ship to the United States and Europe under more advantageous quotas and tariffs.

It is interesting to note that China officially became the second largest economy in the world in 2010. This plan will likely result in an increasingly prosperous trade relationship between the Peoples’ Republic of China and the Kingdom of Thailand. The Voice of America News website went on:

China has been using trade and commercial projects to improve its diplomatic and strategic standing in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s deputy minister of commerce, Alongkorn Ponlaboot, is quoted by China Daily saying the China City Complex corroborates “a strategic business-partner relationship” between China and Thailand.

China’s free-trade agreement with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations was concluded last year.

Putting aside diplomatic and strategic matters, the ambitious project could result in economic benefits for many ASEAN countries (Association of South East Asian Nations) especially Thailand. The creation of a new commercial project such as the one proposed will likely come with the added benefit of new jobs for Thais near Bangkok, new business opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs, new trade opportunities for Thai, Chinese, and other foreign investors; and an overall increase in the flow of goods, capital, labor, and resources to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Greater ASEAN region.

Each year, foreign companies and individuals opt to pursue business ventures in the Kingdom of Thailand. In some cases, entrepreneurs incorporate a Thai Company in order to maintain limited liability while conducting business. Sometimes individuals opt to do business under a Thai sole proprietorship. Partnerships often prefer the added layer of limited liability that can be conferred upon certain members of a Limited Liability Partnership in Thailand. Large ventures conducting business in Thailand occasionally opt to take their enterprise public through the registration of a Thai public company. In any case, those wishing to conduct trade or business in the Kingdom of Thailand are well advised to contact a Law Firm in Thailand as advice and counsel regarding the unique aspects of Thai law can be highly advantageous for businesses making their first appearance in the Thai market. Foreign nationals employed or working in Thailand should note that all foreigners working within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Thailand are required to have a Thai work permit in order to lawfully take up virtually any type of employment.

Matters pertaining to the acquisition of Thai property or Thai Real Estate within the context of multi-jurisdictional business transactions can be complex and multifaceted. For this reason it is highly advisable that foreign nationals or foreign companies conducting business in the Kingdom of Thailand retain the services of a firm to assist with Thai property matters prior to making an irrevocable decisions regarding the acquisition of Thai real estate or property.

For related information please see: US Company Registration or Legal.

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31st December 2010

2010 has been a watershed year in many respects, but the most remarkable thing about the year 2010, in this author’s opinion, was the global paradigm shift regarding Asia. Where once Asia might have been viewed by the North American and European press, business community, and public as a sort of afterthought, 2010 proved that one of, if not the, most important geographical regions in terms of economic growth and technological innovation is East Asia.

As always, Asia’s economic importance can be discerned by looking at currency imbalances, industry analysis, and economic growth figures. However, this blogger feels that one of the most significant indicators of Asia’s “coming of age” in the global arena is evidenced by the fact that many nations in Asia are flexing their muscles in terms of enforcing their will upon the internet. Where once Asian governments seemed to fall in line with Western attitudes toward the the regulation of cyberspace and all of the cultural changes that come with the spread of easy access to the World Wide Web, now it would appear as if governments, businesses, and organizations in North and Southeast Asia are coming up with their own strategies for regulating internet access, promoting ecommerce, and connecting people. Counter-intuitive as is may seem to those operating from a Western perspective, many of the strategies adopted by Asian governments are not designed to facilitate broader access to online technology.  In a recent article posted on the Telegraph’s official website www.telegraph.co.uk, it was noted that Chinese authorities are taking stringent measures against Skype, the online communications service. To quote directly from the Telegraph’s official website:

China on Thursday announced that it had made illegal the use of Skype, the popular internet telephony service, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world…

In the latest move dashing Western internet company hopes of breaking into China, it was announced that all internet phone calls were to be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom.

“[This] is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country,” reported the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party.

Skype is not the only web based company that has experienced its share of problems in the Chinese market. Increasingly, many companies seem to be finding themselves restricted from the internet in China as the Telegraph went on to note:    

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are already blocked in China and Google closed down its Chinese servers last year after heavy government pressure.

It should be noted that Mainland China (also referred to as the Peoples’ Republic of China) boasts a population of approximately 1.3 billion people. For many firms, especially those with a significant online presence, China represents an emerging market with virtually limitless potential. However, China is not the only nation in Asia which seems poised for a more dynamic place in the international business arena. Countries such as the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Indonesia have proven to be fertile ground for the same companies which China is attempting to block. According to Internetworldstats.com the Republic of Indonesia saw 27,338,560 Facebook users as of the end of August 2010.   In an interesting posting on www.nickburcher.com, a fascinating website dedicated to providing information and insight regarding the evolution of advertising and media, this blogger found the following graph noting the the increase in Facebook usage as of 2009:

Rank Country Number of Facebook users July 2008 Number of Facebook users July 2009 12 month growth %
1 Indonesia 209,760 6,496,960 2997.2%
2 Romania 9,060 230,600 2445.3%
3 Slovakia 27,960 588,860 2006.1%
4 Czech Rep 51,860 1,088,020 2005.3%
5 Italy 491,100 10,218,400 1980.7%
6 Philippines 162,640 2,719,560 1572.13%
7 Argentina 417,980 4,906,220 1073.8%
8 Uruguay 40,920 395,800 867.3%
9 Taiwan 71,340 685,460 860.8%
10 Portugal 48,180 425,680 783.5%
11 Brazil 119,080 1,015,400 752.7%
12 Spain 695,900 5,773,200 729.6%
13 Paraguay 7,920 63,740 704.8%
14 Poland 83,180 619,180 644.4%
15 Bulgaria 60,240 436,480 624.6%
16 Austria 111,060 728,800 556.2%
17 Slovenia 53,740 343,320 538.9%
18 Lithuania 24,320 153,160 529.8%
19 Thailand 114,180 697,340 510.7%
20 Russia 67,760 412,840 509.3%

The growth percentages noted above are truly astounding especially when one bears in mind that a country such as China boasts a larger population compared to that of those countries surveyed. Furthermore, the above quotation merely notes increased Facebook usage as of 2009. 2010 likely showed further growth. This could be one reason why many online businesses are attempting to find a compromise with China in an effort to enjoy access to such a lucrative market.

In 2010, Google had some problems with the Chinese government as an article on Sky News’s official website pointed out back in July of 2010. To quote directly from that article:

Beijing has renewed Google’s licence in a move that allows the web giant to continue operating in China, the company has said…

Google revealed the development on its blog and said: “We are very pleased that the government has renewed our ICP licence and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”

China is the world’s biggest internet market and Google’s right to supply the country’s users was suspended after a row over censorship.

To get around the restrictions, Google began to redirect its Chinese users to a landing page in Hong Kong.

If the licence had been rejected outright, as some analysts wrongly predicted, it could have spelled future trouble for Google’s non-search businesses in China.

As noted above, termination of direct access to the Chinese market could have been particularly problematic even for a company as monolithic as Google since the sheer size of the Chinese market is enough to make the thought of being shut out unthinkable for virtually any company, especially companies whose profitability depends upon open access to their website. Enter Mark Zuckerberg, the “Young Turk” who took the online world by storm with the creation and subsequent expansion of Facebook.com, the online social networking website which is currently unavailable in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Recently, it was reported that Mr. Zuckerberg went to China on what seems to have been a sort of vacation/fact finding tour. To quote directly from a recent article on iol.co.za:

In China Mark Zuckerberg is almost unknown. Now, after pictures of him visiting Beijing’s biggest internet company have appeared online, feverish speculation has erupted over whether he could be set to change that by taking his social networking site, Facebook, into the one country that has resisted its charms.

That Mr Zuckerberg is in Beijing this week might alone be enough to trigger rumours as to his intentions – even if it is nominally for a holiday with his girlfriend Priscilla Chan and no other entourage.

But when he was spotted yesterday at the headquarters of Baidu, the giant Chinese search engine company, with its chief executive, Robin Li, the reaction reached a pitch of excitement far beyond what is good for most people’s health.

Any alliance was denied by Baidu’s spokesman. But there is little doubt that the Chinese market remains a tempting prize for the 26-year-old Mr Zuckerberg. Facebook has been blocked by the Chinese government, denying him access to the country’s 300 million regular internet users.

The most striking piece of information to be gleaned from the above quotation, in this blogger’s opinion, is the fact that the article points out that China boasts regular internet usage by approximately 300 million people. That is almost the ENTIRE population of the United States of America. As can be quickly inferred, such large numbers of potential users make China a very critical market for firms, in virtually any industry, with a major online presence.

On a related note, Mr. Zuckerberg’s Asian journey did not end in China. To quote directly from a recent article on the Daily Mail’s official website dailymail.co.uk:

The Facebook cofounder was photographed in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday night looking dressed for a trip to the pub rather than a party, wearing a pair of blue jeans and green collar-less shirt.

Zuckerberg reportedly came to Thailand to attend the wedding of Chris Cox, a close friend and a vice president at Facebook…

The internet mogul is known for his casual style. In the early days of Facebook he famously went to a meeting with top venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in his pajamas, a scene seen in ‘The Social Network’, the film about his meteoric rise.

Zuckerberg, Time magazine’s newly-crowned Person of the Year,  is in Thailand fresh off a visit to China, where his social networking site is currently blocked by authorities.

First off, it is interesting to note the reaction of many to Mr. Zuckerberg’s informal dress. It is this blogger’s opinion that casual dress will become more the norm as ecommerce businesses and web based companies allow owners, managers, operators, consumers, and users to operate from virtually any location regardless of one’s wardrobe. It is interesting that the founder of Facebook is visiting China and Thailand because both countries seem poised to show strong growth in the coming years especially in areas such as information technology.

It is likely that the reader who has come this far in the post will ask: Yes, but what does all of this have to do with “the end of the beginning” in Asia? One could argue that the beginning of the modern relationship between Asia and the USA began with President Nixon’s famous “Opening of China”. Although the United States had been diplomatically and economically engaged in other areas of Asia prior to opening diplomatic relations with China (most notably in South Korea, Japan, and Thailand). The opening of China marks a pivotal moment for Asia and the beginning of a new phase in economic and political relations between Asia and West. From the 1970′s up until the present time, the United States (and in many ways Europe and the UK) has been the country which, for the most part, has held the dominant negotiating position as the “West” has had something of a technological advantage over its Asian counterparts. In the last decade, many of the comparative advantages of the United States have eroded leaving many Asian nations in a new, more advantageous, position vis-a-vis the USA, EU, and UK.

Mark Zuckerberg represents a new generation of mogul. Where once fortunes were made in America by industrialists in areas such as steel or railroads, now fortunes are made on the internet through control of online platforms and access to information. As Sir Ben Kingsley’s character in the movie Sneakers, a truly prescient film about the confluence of government, business, and information technology, pointed out:

There’s a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it’s not about who’s got the most bullets. It’s about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think… it’s all about the information!

If the information business were to be analogized in terms of World War II, then this blogger would liken Mr. Zuckerberg to General Douglas MacArthur as he has proven himself to be a shrewd analyst and strategist in the field of information technology. In fact, Mr. Zuckerberg’s preternatural ability to find and control strategic aspects of the way people use the internet could be likened to General MacArthur’s elegant “island hopping” strategy employed in the Pacific Theater during WWII. With this in mind, this author feels as though this is not the last of Mr. Zuckerberg’s forays into Asia nor the Asian markets. In fact, one can almost read “I shall return” between the lines of the recent press releases documenting Mr. Zuckerberg’s travels throughout Asia.

How Asian markets will ultimately view different types of e-businesses remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Asia is no longer a backwater in terms of the global economy. In fact, many jurisdictions in Asia seem especially poised to be trendsetters in terms of information technology and ecommerce.

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26th September 2010

Those who track this blog may have noticed that there has been an increase in political activities which have disrupted the otherwise calm political and economic environment in the Kingdom of Thailand. There are many who feel that these disruptions are only temporary and will not prove detrimental over the long term. In the short term, individuals and businesses in Thailand are analyzing some new risks which have manifested themselves over the past 9-12 months. To quote directly from Westlawbusiness.com:

Several companies have recently disclosed risks arising from the political turmoil in Thailand. For example, Priceline.com, an online hotel auctioneer, recently disclosed that “civil unrest in Thailand, a key market for our Agoda business and the Asian business of Booking.com. This may result in “significant year-over-year declines in booking volumes in this market….Thailand has experienced disruptive civil unrest in prior years as well and continued or future civil or political unrest could further disrupt Agoda’s Thailand-based business and operations.”

Communication cable manufacturer General Cable is also reporting that it is subject to business risk arising from unrest in Thailand. The copper, aluminum, and fiber optic wire and cable products provider recently disclosed that its “business is subject to the economic, political and other risks of maintaining facilities and selling products in foreign countries. . . Thailand recently experienced significant political and militant unrest in certain provinces. The country’s elected government was overthrown in September 2006, with an elected government only recently restored.” [emphasis in original]

Political turmoil can have substantial unforeseen consequences for some businesses and business models operating throughout Asia. This is why retaining the assistance of local legal counsel can be advantageous for multinational corporations as professionals with on-the-ground knowledge of local business customs and practices can guide clients away from unforeseen legal, and in some cases; business, risks.

There are many, this author included, who feel that the current political turbulence in Thailand is simply a “bump in the road” eventually leading to overall tranquility and economic prosperity in the Kingdom of Thailand as well as the South East Asia region. Bearing that in mind, those wishing to establish a business or corporate presence in Thailand are well advised to conduct research and due diligence before making irrevocable business decisions as  maintaining a corporate presence in Bangkok, or the emerging markets in Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, and Vietnam can be fraught with unforeseen legal and business issues which may not arise in jurisdictions such as the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, or Canada.

Many wishing to do business in Thailand opt to do so under a Thai Limited Company as this type of juristic person provides a measure of limited liability. Limited Liability is often one of the first methods employed by those wishing to hedge against unforeseen future business risks. American businesses may also enjoy many benefits pursuant to the language of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. Regardless of the type of corporate structure, any foreigner wishing to work in the Kingdom of Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit prior to taking up employment pursuant to Thai labor law.

For related information please see: Bangkok Lawyer or Amity Treaty Company.

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18th September 2010

This author is a frequent reader of the Economist magazine. The legal service industry was the main topic of an article printed in a recent issue. This article succinctly and truthfully got to the heart of a significant issue in the international legal community, that of Legal Process Outsourcing. The whole dynamic in the legal service community is changing as a result of the internet, world wide web, and the ramifications thereof. These ramifications are being felt in other industries as well, but they seem to be having the most interesting impact upon the legal service industry because the industry, or more precisely; profession if used in a more individualized sense, has not had to retool its customary payment structure or hierarchy for a relatively long period of time. To better understand the significance of this development one needs to read some passages from the online article itself:

Lawyers hate keeping track of their billable hours. Clients hate them even more; each month they receive bills showing that their legal representatives have worked improbably long hours at incredibly high rates. Billing by the hour often fails to align lawyers’ interests with their clients’. The chap in the wig or the white shoes has an incentive to spin things out for as long as possible. His client would rather win quickly and go home. Since there is clearly a demand for an alternative to the billable hour, you would expect someone to supply it. And indeed, this is starting to happen.

Many legal tasks, although not quite easy, are variations on a theme. The production of a certain document (such as a trademark registration) does not differ vastly from one instance to another… Automating the automatable stuff allows lawyers to spend more time talking to the client.

One of the most important aspects of an attorney’s (or lawyer’s) job is direct contact with clients, Courts, or government agencies. The more time that an attorney can devote to direct interactions which result in direct, immediate or long term, benefits to clients, the better. The more services that a lawyer can provide, the better. The more satisfied clients, the better. In short, if a strategy, service, system, or technology works, and it is legal and ethical; then an attorney or lawyer should take all reasonable measures to provide the best service required based upon the totality of the circumstances in a given case. As the technological advances in developed countries and developing countries continue creating new avenues for efficiency in the legal profession, the overall situation is having a collateral impact upon the very practice of law in many parts of the world:

More and more firms’ in-house lawyers, who typically hire and manage outside lawyers, have turned to alternatives to the billable hour since the beginning of the global recession in 2008. According to a survey by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), which represents companies’ in-house lawyers, 44% of members asked their lawyers for alternative billing to cut costs in 2009, more than any other cost-reducing measure. Susan Hackett, the ACC’s general counsel, says that just a few years ago what she calls “value-based” billing was only 3% of her members’ legal spending. Now, she says, surveys show the average client laying out between 15% and 30% of their legal spending this way.

The idea of so-called “value based” billing is an interesting one as this trend becomes increasingly prevalent. Many companies, individuals, and corporations have begun making increasingly informed decisions regarding the retention of legal counsel as many areas of the legal profession are becoming increasingly specialized in tandem with the demands of prospective clients. This sometimes requires attorneys and/or lawyers to practice law in a very narrow context. This can be problematic if over-specialization occurs and the lawyer finds their expertise is decreasingly in demand. Fortunately, a naturally occurring economic phenomenon in combination with recent advances in technology will hopefully see to it that lawyers and attorneys maintain diverse and highly unique areas of expertise across a field of areas while being able to provide advice and counsel for an increasingly large and novel set of practice areas. The aforementioned naturally occurring economic phenomenon is: The Long Tail. For those unfamiliar with this as an economic concept, it may be best to provide a quote from Wikipedia on the subject:

The Long Tail or long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a ‘normal’ or Gaussian distribution. The term has gained popularity in recent times as a retailing concept describing the niche strategy of selling a large number of unique items in relatively small quantities…

The Long Tail’s statistical property noted above can also apply in a service context and this author would dare say that the ramifications in terms of demand for increasingly novel services in increasingly novel fields is astounding as more consumers (or prospective clients) demand services which did not even exist in the very recent past. This property can be extremely beneficial to those in the legal profession as demand for legal services will be further reinforced by the differing aspects of the laws and statutes in various jurisdictions. These statutory and structural legal differences can be explored for further efficiency in an international trade and business context. As the long tail continues to further stratify consumer demand, client needs will continue to evolve, thereby leading to new avenues for further expansion for legal service providers. By sorting out the issue of legal fee payment in an efficient manner law firms in the future can reap the rewards of new opportunities in the interstate, supranational, regional, and international business communities. Then, lawyers and/or attorneys can focus on providing cutting edge legal service while the client can enjoy more reasonable fee structures which accurately reflect the costs of an attorney’s, time, advice, and expertise. A final note from the Economist article may put it most succinctly:

Both sides can then focus on the case at hand, rather than the bill.

This is important to note as most attorneys or other legal professionals prefer practicing law or providing services to discussing fees. Although all can understand that fees are required before services can be rendered, many legal professionals feel that fee negotiation with clients is not an effective use of time compared to time spent actually providing services to clients. Therefore, the increasingly innovative legal services that are being required as the long tail reshapes the business world will provide innumerable benefits to legal service firms world wide while providing clients’ with peace of mind in knowing that bills will not become unreasonable nor will the level of service suffer due to lack of specific expertise in a given area.

For related information please see: ecommerce law.

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28th August 2010

The spread of Ecommerce is one of the major business trends of the past 15 years. As the internet and world wide web have become ubiquitous throughout the world the international economy has seen an overall increase in sales of goods and services over the internet. Communications technology has allowed online businesses, big and small, the opportunity to deal with customers directly. However, many once settled legal issues are the topic of much discussion in legal circles as the multi-jurisdictional nature of the world wide web has completely changed the landscape of international trade and commerce.

An example of the legal paradigm shift in contract law can be seen in the drafting of so-called “Terms of Service” Agreements or TOS agreements. These types of agreements are becoming increasingly common as more social and business interaction occurs online. TOS agreements generally stipulate the type of services that will be provided by a website, or network of websites. Furthermore, the TOS agreement usally stipulates what type of conduct will be permitted on a given platform and the type of conduct which may give rise to a termination of services. Some in the legal community feel that usage of Terms of Service Agreements (TOS Agreements) is likely to increase in the foreseeable future. However, the increased usage of such agreements is likely to occur in countries which may not use English as a primary language. This is particularly the case in emerging markets where the language of courts and tribunals is not necessarily English. This will likely lead to an increasing demand for legal professionals from non-English speaking countries to assist in the drafting of TOS agreements. How non-English speaking courts view these types of agreements remains to be seen in some jurisdictions, but this author has little doubt that drafting of TOS agreements will be increasingly necessary as global ecommerce increases in markets such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, China, Africa, Brazil, Greater South America, and Oceania.

Transactional Law is a key component of ecommerce as usage of credit cards and other online financial instruments has increased exponentially with the spread of the world wide web. As established payment platforms grow and new payment platforms come into existence, the role of legal professionals will change dramatically as lawyers and attorneys are likely to be sought to assist in both the structuring of online payment platforms and drafting of documents ancillary to online payment for goods and services. Specialized legal counsel may be necessary for e-businesses, depending upon the structure of a given online enterprise and its payment platform.

As the needs of international business evolves so too will the services provided by legal professionals. As the internet creates new opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs, lawyers and attorneys will likely be providing ever more innovative legal solutions for Ecommerce business owners, managers, and professionals.

For related information about the rise of outsourced legal processing services please see: Legal Process Outsourcing.

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