There are many different legal issues around trading, from what to do if someone fails to pay you on time, to the law around import and export.

Trading law basics

Finding out about the legal requirements of trading can help you ensure you comply with the law. You may need information on legal issues related to trading if you are:

  • Starting a business
  • Changing the services you provide or the goods you sell
  • Changing the countries you trade with
  • Involved in a sector with specific trading rules and regulations
  • Are having problems with late or non-payment
  • Are involved in a dispute relating to the sale or purchase of goods or services
  • Want to legally protect an idea or name

Trading issues and the law

Below are links to free online information about some of the most common trading issues:

Rights and restrictions

Trading law – what you can and can’t do

Goods or services not as described

Sector specific regulations

  • Regulation – Government guide to business regulations and if you need a license.

Trade marks and copyright

Contracts for sale or rental of goods or services

Payment or trading disputes

Late or non-payment

Debt collection

Trading disputes

Overseas trading

International trade



Trading advisers

As a small business owner, you may decide to take advice on an aspect of trading. There are many different types of people who can give this advice. These include:

For a list of questions to ask a legal services provider before you take legal advice, visit our provider checklist.

Last reviewed:14 January 2019.