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Looking to Transfer a Web or Internet-Based Business

Internet-based businesses are unique and require some specialized knowledge when buying or selling. Specifically, internet-based businesses are intellectual property heavy and require the successful transfer of domains, accounts and systems without loss of status, credentials and SEO.

Often domain names, webpages and email accounts are hosted and intermingled with the seller's personal accounts. Untangling these and ensuring that you have the right on closing to shut out the seller and take over requires that your closing agent be knowledgeable in handling the escrow of these types of assets. Further, it is important to ensure that websites, software and applications are fully transferable and that the seller has the right to sell all aspects of the intellectual property. Keeping in mind that authors own the code written, when a seller sells an application or website, the seller either needs to assign all rights, including source and object code or have the right to license or transfer a license to the buyer. Understanding how this is done, and how to conduct due diligence to ensure that the buyer is getting the intellectual property expected is imperative.

As a seller, it is important to understand which assets you are transferring and which rights/assets, if any, you are retaining. If you are a developer and you reuse code, you need to ensure that you have the right to use code that is being sold. You also need to ensure as a seller that you actually have the right to sell or license the technology you are transferring and that it does not still belong to an artist, copywriter, developer or programmer. If you work with a broker, make sure the broker understands and has experience with internet-based businesses.

When it comes to the transfer of Google AdSense*, AdWords*, Ebay*, Amazon* and other similar accounts, keep in mind that these accounts are in the name of a specific account owner and cannot be transferred. That means that you start again with a new account. A new account may impact your ranking after closing as you will be a new vendor, if approved at all. Having legal counsel experienced in structuring these types of transactions will help ensure you take over the seller's account at closing instead of starting with a new account. At the AEGIS Law, we have significant experience in this area and whether hired as a neutral closer or as buyer's or seller's counsel, we can help ensure that you have a smooth transition. *We are not affiliated with Google, Ebay or Amazon and only use these as reference points.

At the AEGIS Law, we pride ourselves on offering practical and solid legal advice to sellers and buyers. Contact us to discuss our strategy-based services.

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