Online shop business and Law of Japan
If you sell items or services to residents of Japan, you need to know some Legal information of Japan.
Even if you are not in Japan, you still need to obey a law named “Specified commercial transactions act = TokuteiShotorihikiHo”.
So in this page I would like to introduce you relevant information clearly.
In the case of some business categories, business operators caused misleading or engaged in illegal or malicious solicitation toward consumers.
So this law is aimed to protect consumers from such trouble.
If your business in included in Specified Commercial Transactions, cooling-off system can be applied.
And you need to clarify specific items in your website, contract paper.
Otherwise, your business activity is illegal and government of Japan can order you to suspend or close your business.
Category of Specified Commercial Transactions
If your business is included in Specified Commercial Transactions, Specified Commercial Transactions act is applied and you need to follow the law.
1) If you advertise your items or service via internet, magazine, television and receive orders from consumers via postal mail, telephone, internet, your business is called “Mail order sales =通信販売”.
Because in the case of Mail order sales, consumers may misunderstand details of your product, services. So by this Specified Commercial Transactions act, government of Japan tries to protect consumers.
So if you advertise your business via internet and consumers visit your shop and conclude contract, your business is NOT included in Mail order sales.
2) If you solicit consumers by telephone or solicit consumers to call to you and receive orders via postal mail, telephone, internet, your business is called “telemarketing sales”.
Because in the case of telemarketing sales, consumers may misunderstand details of your product, services. So by this Specified Commercial Transactions act, government of Japan tries to protect consumers.
3) If you provide Specified Continuous Services to consumers for long period and receive a lot of fee, your business is included in “Provisions of Specified Continuous Services”.
For example, if you are operating a language school and students need to pay monthly fee for several months, your business is included in this category.
Esthetic salons, home tutors, cram schools, marriage agencies, and personal computer schools are also included in this category.
4) Door to door sales activity.
If you visit consumers’s residence and try to sell items, service, your business is included in this category.
Even if you and consumer to meet at restaurant etc. and solicit them, your business is still included in this category.
5) Multilevel Marketing Transactions, Business Opportunity Sales Transactions, Door-to-Door Purchase are also included in Specified Commercial Transactions.
Business operator’s Obligation
Obligation of clear indication of names
If your business is included in Specified Commercial Transactions, you need to inform consumers of your name, the fact that its purpose is to solicit the consumers, prior to solicitation.
So when you try to sell items, services via online shop, you need to clarify several stipulated items in website of your online shop.
And when you and consumers conclude contract , you need to provide a document that clarifies important matters. Content of important matters are stipulated by law.
Cooling-off system of Japan
If consumers can utilize cooling-off system, they can revoke contract unconditionally.
Consumers can rescind contract within specific days from receipt of a document that clarifies important matters.
So if you do not provide the document, consumers can revoke the contract anytime.
In the case of Door-to-Door Sales, Telemarketing Sales, Provision of Specified Continuous Services and Door-to-Door Purchase, consumers can cancel the contract within 8 days.
In the case of Multilevel Marketing Transactions and Business Opportunity Sales Transactions, it is within 20 days.
So in the case of Mail order sales, cooling-off system is not applicable.