The UK Rules

Online Selling Regulations in UK

Traders who use the Internet to sell products and services must follow online selling regulations. Check extra rules that apply when selling digital services such as downloads and streaming services.

Buying Digital Goods and Services Online

Businesses must provide certain information when using 'distance selling' to sell goods or services.

In most cases, the rules for distance selling apply to sales made by text message or phone, by mail order, or through digital TV.

In addition to those rules, there are extra regulations for selling online, especially on digital services that consumers can download and stream.

Note: There are other rules to follow as well if you are running a VAT registered business. Extra reporting rules also apply if you are exporting and doing business abroad.

Before a Customer Places an Order

As an online seller you would need to provide any potential customers with:

Note: Confirm the contract without delay in an easy for the customer to understand. As a rule, the format must be one that the customer can save for future reference (e.g. an email message).

Selling Digital Services Online

Some digital services allow customers to download or stream them online. In these instances, extra regulations for selling digital services would apply to:

Downloads and Streaming Services

If you are supplying downloads or streaming services to customers online you would need to:

Note: Failing to follow these online selling rules means the customer keeps their fourteen (14) day right to cancel without paying.

After a Customer Places an Order

Once a customer places an order with through an online selling service, the trader must then:

VAT Rules for Online Selling in the EU

Special rules apply when registering for VAT in other EU countries because you are selling digital services outside of the United Kingdom.


Distance Selling | Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations.

Unfair Contract Terms | UK rules on using misleading terms in consumer and business sales contracts.

Online Selling Regulations in United Kingdom