No one can accuse today’s tech-savvy startups of not sharing. In fact, it’s becoming the way forward for many industries with Uber being one of the fasting growing startups worldwide.
There are also many smaller startups which are joining the ‘sharing economy’ phenomenon. The sharing economy simply involves the use of online platforms that connect people and business who have goods and services to sell, hire, rent or lease with customers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has now felt the need to released guidance for small businesses operating in the sharing economy. The aim of the guidance notes are to assist small business to understand their rights and legal obligations.
The guidance notes set out the relevant competition and consumer protection regulations that must be adhered to. It also sets out the ACCC’s expectations about compliance and best practice for platform operators in four key ‘principles’.
- Accuracy and honesty;
- Effective review process;
- Fairness in dealing with consumers and traders.
The ACCC suggests that platform operators keep these principles in mind when making decisions about all aspects of their service, including when moderating reviews, advertising, marketing and when preparing terms and conditions. It is a must read for anyone in the digital sharing space.