Strict new rules on distance and doorstop selling are coming into effect on 13th June 2014, which will impact millions of small businesses who sell goods or services to the public. The legislation sets out detailed information that must be provided to consumers before they make purchases.

The new rules will impact the cooling off period for the purchase of goods, which will be increased to 14 calendar days after the goods are delivered. Also affected are the timeframe for providing customers with a refund, the unsolicited supply of products and the application of additional charges that have not been agreed in advance.

More specifically the changes require online shops to make the consumer explicitly aware that, at the point of order, an obligation to pay is implied. Failure to comply with the new rules could result in contracts being unenforceable and the very worst case scenario, traders could face criminal conviction and a fine.

If you are not sure if your website or sales processes comply with the new legislation, we strongly recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

There is a guide issued by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills here.

There are also lots of links and guidance from the government here which is aimed at small business: https://www.gov.uk/browse/business/sale-goods-services-data
And the help line numbers (gov) are here: https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline