Is Affiliate Marketing Legal?

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You are here because chances are you are interested in the legal side of affiliate marketing. I will share what I do to ensure the legalities of working as an affiliate marketer. I will also refer to the Federal Trade Commission and other credible sources. 


But to answer the question explicitly, YES, it is a legal business model!


In a nutshell, you can run a legal affiliate marketing business by disclosing that your affiliate link can generate a commission for you.To go into the details, let us take a closer look at several of the items you have to look out for when creating a site, utilizing proper disclosures, and producing ads to run an authorized affiliate advertising business.

An Overview


Affiliate marketing is an officially authorized business model to earn money online. As an affiliate internet marketer, you can endorse another company’s products in exchange for a commission. But in doing so, you will find some legal issues with affiliate marketing that you should be conscious of to remain compliant. It involves disclosing any platforms you may be using to post your affiliate links such as Youtube description, blog posts, email campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.

How Is Affiliate Marketing Regulated?


Affiliate marketing is regulated based on a country’s laws and regulations. FTC or the Federal Trade Commission regulates the rules on affiliate marketing in the US. The rights are centered on protecting the consumers of a company’s products and services. In this way, your consumers would know if they are clicking an affiliate link and if an entity is compensated for it. When you disclose your affiliate relationships, it inherently builds trust with your brand. Many other companies ignore this, so in the end, only those who are compliant in disclosures will be successful in this field.


What are the Things to Consider to Remain Legally Compliant as an Affiliate Marketing Business?


Many enter into affiliate marketing to generate passive income or keep a stable and steady source of revenue. You must run your affiliate marketing business in a compliant and legal fashion to enable you to earn substantial monthly profits. Below are several things you need to consider to remain legally compliant as an affiliate marketer:


  1. Affiliate Disclaimers. Because you are operating an affiliate advertising company or perhaps preparing to start one, you must understand how important it is to include an affiliate disclaimer. It should be on the same page where your affiliate links are. It should not require clicking through to a new page to view it. In this way, it is protecting the rights of your audience. For blog articles, you can often include an affiliate disclaimer at the start, in the end, or perhaps in the footer. Doing this will make you compliant with your affiliate marketing business.
  2. Registered Trademark. Another critical component to maintain a legal affiliate marketing business is registering trademarks. The first time you will encounter trademarks are when you set up and register your domain name. To identify and verify existing trademarks, you may use TESS or Trademark Electronic Search System. In the future, when your brand has grown, you may need to register a trademark to protect your business 
  3. Copyright. Not everything online is free. A copyright is used to preserve an author or creator’s intellectual property. Either you get permission from the copyright owner or create your original content.
  4. Privacy Policy. You have to notify and let your site visitors and audience understand what information is being collected. This includes establishing a privacy policy for your website. Remember, data security online is crucial as an affiliate internet marketer.
  5. Stock Photos & Videos. Stock pictures and video clips are a crucial area of copyright. There is a great deal of free stock photo sites that you are free to use. However, not every one of them may be used on your website or in ads. I suggest using paid stock images and video clips or create original content by taking your pictures and video clips to ensure that you remain compliant.



What are the Legal Implications When Collecting Personal Information as an Online Affiliate Marketing Business?


Collecting private info has to be disclosed within the privacy policy as an affiliate marketing business. Allow me to share several of the typical information which must be incorporated in your privacy policy.


  1. Name and contact details. Any personal information collected from your website visitors must be addressed. Most companies use opt-in forms to collect data and an email auto-responder.
  2. Customer history. Disclosing how this info is being obtained and how it impacts your ROI or Return On Investment in your business is essential to share with your audience or website visitors.
  3. Communication records. Any transactions, as well as communications with buyers, has to be made known or disclosed. Including such info in the privacy policy is going to help you to remain compliant.


What Steps Are Required To Run An Affiliate Program For Your Product Legally & Efficiently?


Running an affiliate marketing program for digital merchandise is another part of operating an affiliate marketing business. Allow me to share two crucial steps you have to be conscious of to have the ability to manage a legal affiliate program.

  • Affiliate Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions for affiliates can include, among others are: commissions, termination, PPC policy, and so on. This is very crucial to stay away from legal issues along the way.

  • Setting Standards For Your Brand

An affiliate screening helps you to maintain your brand. Through this, you can limit who you admit as an affiliate to make sure they’re marketing it because they believe the product works.


Staying compliant and managing an authorized affiliate marketing business does not have to be tough to achieve. Remember, always check with a lawyer on legal business issues. Here, the information offered must be a kick-off point on several of the essential items you have to think about when managing a compliant enterprise.

Ultimately, by marketing products as an affiliate marketer, you have to disclose your relationships with various businesses to your audience. This protects your customers and also helps you in the very long run to create a reliable and respected brand for your online business.

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