Arts Business Incubator Intensive Recap: Doing Business Online
Get a legal perspective on doing business online from Elyse Dreyer, Compliance Counsel, Sotheby’s.
NYFA welcomed its second cohort of arts-based businesses to its Arts Business Incubator program this January, starting with 10 days of intensive training on legal, financial, and marketing topics related to growing a business. We were lucky to sit in on one of the training sessions, titled “Doing Business Online,” with Elyse Dreyer, SVP, Compliance and Business Integrity Counsel, Sotheby’s Americas and Lena J. Wong, Associate, Schindler Cohen & Hochman. Lena J. Wong kicked off the presentation with a hypothetical scenario that raised issues to think about when selling online.
Read on for session takeaways from Elyse Dreyer’s presentation, which delved into further details about the rules of engagement for online selling. If you’re already doing business online or if you’re thinking of taking the next step in growing your business, this post is for you!
- Longer isn’t necessarily better. Some courts or regulators might find issue with a 50-page privacy document. These days, courts are leaning towards shorter, straightforward policies without all the legalese.
If you do not already, you should have an opt-out notice on all of your email marketing materials. It is a legal obligation to honor request to unsubscribe. Additionally, if you’re sending emails through third-party email providers, make sure you’re honoring their policies too.
Beware of using copyrighted material on your website. For example: copyright in an image might belong to you, and the copyright in the art might belong to the artist. Check in with the rights and copyright holder; Sotheby’s largely talks to the Artist’s Rights Society to confirm what they can do with their images.
Online Sales and Payment
When selling online, disclose that extra costs may apply. For example, there may be added taxes, shipping costs, and custom duties. It is much more complicated to sell abroad, so research rules and regulations before deciding to open yourself up to that market. And finally, if you accept credit cards, make sure to know what the terms are with the processor and with the credit card company. Read all tedious agreements to save yourself trouble later on!
- New York State Bar Association Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law has a list of resources on a variety of topics.
- Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts provides arts-related legal aid and educational programming around legal and business issues that affect artists and arts organizations.
- Lawyers Alliance for New York provides business and transactional legal services for nonprofit organizations that are improving the quality of life in NYC neighborhoods.
– Amy Aronoff, Communications Officer
ABI is made possible by the generous support of the Scherman Foundation’s Katherine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund. For additional information on the ABI program, please contact [email protected].
Image from L to R: Elyse Dreyer and Lena Wong leading ABI’s “Doing Business Online” session, Photo Credit: Natasha Zeta.