Dinn, Hochman & Potter, LLC
TF: 800-233-4079
L: 440-681-8005

Pitfalls to avoid with online business opportunities

Starting an Internet business is something that many Ohio residents have considered, and tales of billionaires barely old enough to shave can be compelling. However, the rules of commerce do not magically disappear because transactions are completed online, and virtual businesses must pay their bills and win customers just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Any individual thinking about paying for a business opportunity would be wise to remember the principle of caveat emptor, but this is especially true of online ventures.

While there are no doubt solid Internet business opportunities on the market, many promise far more than they can ever deliver. These less reputable opportunities attract interest by offering the ability to work from home and avoid much of the hard work involved in building a traditional business, and they often cite the Internet as a medium that makes success all but assured. However, sure things do not exist in the real world, and entrepreneurs would be wise to follow the accepted rules of business planning.

Questions should be asked to discover what product or service will be offered and how customers will be found. Entrepreneurs should also check references and verify all claims. This can often be done by searching the Internet for accounts of how others have fared with the opportunity, and fraudulent or misleading offers should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

A business law attorney can assist entrepreneurs considering an online business opportunity by seeing if there are any lawsuits or complaints on file with the attorney general's office, the Better Business Bureau or consumer protection agencies. The attorney can also check references and testimonials to ensure that they actually reflect real-world success stories and closely scrutinize the fine print of contracts and refund policies.

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