Legal Obligations in Sites and Online Stores

Legal Obligations in Sites and Online Stores

When launching an Internet site or especially an online store, it is essential to have the notion that there are a number of legal rules that must be fulfilled.

Some are similar to the rules applicable to companies and physical stores, others are specific to the digital world.

The applicable legislation is wide and dispersed and access to the institutions responsible for clarification is at least complicated.

Moreover, as we know, the Internet is both a sea of information and misinformation, so many Internet myths about what it is mandatory to comply with when you have a website run on the Internet.

In order to answer the most common doubts regarding the obligations that must be fulfilled by the sites / online stores in the Portuguese legislation, we have compiled this list which identifies the following obligations:

1 – Use of Cookies

It is mandatory for all Internet sites to inform users if they use cookies in their operation (which 99% of sites use).

2 – Promotions

In online stores and in general, whenever an Internet site presents products or services with promotional prices, it is mandatory to indicate the price that prevailed before the promotion, the promotional price and the dates in which the promotion is in force.

3 – Consumption disputes

For websites that market online or represent physical stores that market products or services, it is mandatory to inform consumers of the entities that they can appeal in case of litigation.

4 – Complaints Book

For sites that market online or represent physical stores that sell products or services, it is mandatory to mention that the company has a complaints book and indicate the physical address of the place where it can be used. It is expected that, as early as 2018, it will become possible for any website to refer to an electronic complaint book (at ), so it is important to be aware of when this norm takes effect.

5 – Privacy Policy

It is mandatory for all Internet sites to inform users how the information that is collected about them is used by the company.

6 – Terms and Conditions

It is mandatory for all Internet sites to indicate the terms and conditions under which users may use the site. When it involves e-commerce, it should include information about the company and its contacts, order details, all costs involved and should also include specific information about the right to the 14 day reflection period that assists all consumers in online purchases.

7 – Refund Policy

It is mandatory for all online stores to inform you of the policy and return / refund procedures in place at the store.

8 – Sending of Promotional E-mails

Compliance with the rules set forth in Decree-Law no. 7/2004, Articles 20, 21 and 22 is mandatory.

9 – Electronic Billing

For companies / online stores that use electronic billing, the digital file of the invoices issued electronically is mandatory for 10 years.

10 – RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation)

Starting in May 2018, a new regulation that establishes procedures that must be verified in the collection and processing of employee and customer data is in force. You should be informed of the procedures that you must implement both in the internal management of this data in your company and in your collection on the Internet site.


Note that these are the obligations we know, but this list may not be exhaustive, especially for certain specific business areas. We advise you also to read the legislation that follows and, if in doubt, to consult a specialized lawyer.

Some legislative references whose reading we recommend: Law no. 46/2012, of August 29; Articles 20 to 23 of Decree-Law 7/2004, of January 7 – Law of Electronic Commerce; Related Legislation: Law 67/98, Law 69/98, Law 6/99, Advertising Code, Consumer Protection Law, Articles 37 and 60 of the CRP, Law No. 143/2001, Directives 95/46 / EC and 97/66 / EC.

If you need help implementing the above obligations, you can contact iFlexi and we can assist you in planning the procedures to follow, creating the texts and implementing the obligations on your website / store (by installing extensions on your site , creation of new pages, etc.). Our intervention will be budgeted on a case-by-case basis and may apply to any or all of the above points.

Ask for budget:

Please note that for certain defaults, fines may reach thousands of euros (and you will then have to comply with the obligations), so it is much cheaper to take precautions and ensure that you comply with the legal obligations.

Good Business!



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