How to Sue a Web-Based Business

by Business Editor; Updated September 26, 2017

How to Sue a Web-Based Business. Filing a lawsuit against a web-based business is not too different from filing against any other type of business. The tricky part is figuring out who to actually sue and where to file your suit.

Sue a Web-Based Business

Step 1

Gather as much information as possible about the owners of the business you wish to sue. Many web based businesses keep much of their information private. You should try to obtain, at the very least, the names of all owners, the business address and all phone numbers.

Step 2

Keep records of all contact with the business. You will need these documents to prove your case.

Step 3

Decide where to sue. You must file the lawsuit in the correct jurisdiction, and your local court may not suffice for a case against a web-based business.

Step 4

Consider hiring a lawyer to file your case in the defendant's state, if the amount involved is substantial (over $25,000) and personal jurisdiction is in question. This saves time battling over jurisdiction and makes collection easier.

Step 5

Check to see if others have the same complaint as you. You might be able to find a class action suit to join.

Determine Jurisdiction When Suing a Web-Based Business

Step 1

Research whether the web-based business you want to sue holds any business licenses or has a physical presence in your state. Operation of a warehouse, store or office anywhere in the state easily establishes personal jurisdiction, allowing you to sue in your home state.

Step 2

Read the fine print! Many web-based businesses have a provision stating you must resolve any disputes in a particular state. You may have unwittingly agreed to this by agreeing to a privacy policy or other terms when making a purchase. Montana and Idaho do not accept this provision to prove jurisdiction, which can often work in your favor in those states.

Step 3

Prove the business has "reasonable contact" in the jurisdiction you want to sue in. A court can hold jurisdiction over a business in another state if the business has a significant number of clients or representatives in that court's state.

Tips

  • If you paid for the purchase or service with a credit card, contact your card company to see if it can help you with any disputes.

Warnings

  • Suing a web-based business in another country can be quite complicated. Even in a successful lawsuit, collecting or upholding judgment can prove difficult.