Michigan Laws Requiring Online Sellers to Verify Their Identities Goes Into Effect This Month

On Jan. 1, the Integrity Notification and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Act went into effect in Michigan. The Act tightens restrictions on certain online retailers to protect consumers from bad-faith sellers.

INFORM requires that online retailers verify high-volume third-party sellers and that certain sellers provide contact information to consumers. The purpose of the Act is to ensure Michigan customers aren’t buying fraudulent or stolen goods from online merchants.

A high-volume seller, according to the Act, is a business that operates independently from the online retailer (such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and similar sites) and entered into 200 or more sales of new consumer products for $5,000 or more in gross revenue in a year.

What information is a third-party seller required to provide?

Third-party sellers are required to provide the online retailer with certain identifying information including the following:

  • A working email address and phone number;
  • A bank account number, and;
  • A tax identification number.

Sellers have ten days to provide the information to the online retailer, who would be required to suspend future sales if the information is late or not provided.

Sellers with more than $20,000 in gross revenue are required to provide consumers with the following:

  • Name;
  • Physical address;
  • Working phone number; and
  • Email address (or another way of direct messaging).

Michigan joins ten other states in passing INFORM Act regulations. Federal efforts to verify third-party sellers have stalled in the House and Senate.

Help is available

The business attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions regarding the new law. For more information, call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Business