Legal Issues in Internet Contracting

"Online contracting raises novel legal issues that any business attempting to set up an online contracting site should consider. However, most legal hurdles can readily be overcome by appropriately structuring the web site, entering into an electronic trading agreement, or (in the rare case) performing one or more steps of the transaction off line.

"Clients frequently wonder what legal pitfalls they may encounter in setting up a web page for online contracting. In fact, contract law principles such as offer and acceptance, or the requirement of a signed writing, can generally be accommodated on the Internet.

"In some ways the Internet is the ideal environment for entering into contracts, as many companies are discovering. However, certain practical differences between online and offline contracting should be kept in mind.

Read more in this article from Thelen Reid & Priest, that includes the following subtopics:

Issues Regarding Formation
Requirement of Writing on Paper and Providing a Signature
Legal Requirement of a Writing and Signature
Digital Signature Legislation
Utah's Digital Signature Legislation
California's Digital Signature Legislation
Illinois' Digital Signature Legislation
Other States' Digital Signature Legislation
The Mailbox Rule
Determining the Terms of a Contract
Special Issues Regarding Handling Money Over the Internet