I'd like to know if it's legal to start under somebodies else business without their consent.

I know one store and asked multiple times if they have an e-commerce/online shopping site where I can purchase their products. They only have a facebook page and they post sometimes some updates. They do however ship if someone makes an order. It just seems to me that they aren't interested in having an online store or they don't have energy/money investing in it even though they all have ready for the purchases.

Since I'm a developer, I was thinking to make a site and list their products. The URL will be the name of their store. Anytime someone makes a purchase I will contact them through email if they could send the products to them.

I'd like to use the URL with their name since they are already indexed by google and they are mentioned in many blogs and many people know them under this name. Any legal obstacles?

  • Legal questions are impossible to answer without a location tag, at the minimum. As well, I'd advise against this practice, since the owner doesn't seem to want it... Just saying...
    – Canadian Luke
    Apr 28, 2016 at 22:38
  • 3
    No offense, but this is a terrible idea. It's unethical, probably illegal, and very likely to get you in trouble. Were you planning on getting paid for this, or just doing it out of charity? If you want to do it for free, contact them and offer to build them a site for free. If you want to get paid, building it without their permission and then asking for money is practically blackmail.
    – user45623
    Apr 28, 2016 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


This is basically a legal question and therefore ultimately depends on jurisdiction.

However - since it seems you will be 'impersonating' an existing business to a degree where customers could actually be led to believe that they are actually dealing with the impersonated store, I would suspect this is illegal most places.

If you create the webshop without impersonating the original store, you are in less trouble legally; perhaps even in the clear and the store could probably not object.

Whether this is a good business idea, is another matter. You'll probably still need to handle sales tax and I presume you would not merely sell on the products at the same price. If the store is not the original supplier of the products, perhaps sourcing them from the original supplier would make this business viable.

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