Navigating the Legal Landscape: Essential Requirements for Starting Your Online Business in the EU


Do you want to start online selling in EU? Here you have the main legal requirements needed:

1. Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT is a consumption tax that applies to most digital goods sold in the EU. As a seller, you are generally required to charge VAT on your sales and remit it to the appropriate tax authority. Registering for VAT and complying with VAT regulations is essential. The VAT rates and thresholds may vary between EU countries. The One-Stop Shop (OSS) simplifies the VAT reporting process for cross-border sales of digital goods within the EU. It allows you to register for VAT in one EU country and declare and pay VAT for all EU sales through a single online portal. Compliance with the OSS is crucial to ensure proper VAT accounting for your digital goods.

2. Consumer Protection Laws: EU consumer protection laws are in place to ensure that consumers are adequately protected when purchasing digital goods. These laws cover aspects such as the right to information, withdrawal rights, refund policies, and warranty provisions. It’s important to be familiar with and comply with these laws to protect your customers and your business.

3. Data Protection Regulations: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets rules for the collection, processing, and storage of personal data of EU citizens. If your online store collects and processes customer data, you must comply with GDPR requirements, including obtaining consent, providing privacy notices, and implementing appropriate data security measures. For an in-depth approach to legal regulations have a look at our Full guide to comply with regulations to sell online in Europe.

4. Intellectual Property Rights: Ensure that you have the necessary intellectual property rights for the digital goods you sell. Respect copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property laws. If you use third-party content or materials, ensure that you have the appropriate licenses or permissions to do so. One of the main issues here are Cookies and IP address tracking.

5. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS): If you process credit card payments, you must comply with PCI DSS requirements to ensure the security of customer payment card data. These standards include maintaining a secure network, encrypting cardholder data, and regularly monitoring and testing security systems.

6. Electronic Signatures: If your digital goods involve contracts or agreements, you may need to comply with electronic signature regulations. The eIDAS Regulation sets standards for the use of electronic signatures and their legal validity within the EU.

7. Geoblocking Regulations: Geoblocking refers to practices that prevent customers from accessing or purchasing goods or services based on their location. The EU has regulations in place to prevent unjustified geoblocking, ensuring equal access for customers across member states.


If you still have doubts on the legal requirements for online selling in EU, ask our Free Online Legal and GDPR consultant in EU, which will solve all your legal-related questions for free and in real time.

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Tax, VAT, ecommerce, marketplace, GDPR and legal consultants for online selling in EU