How to run a legal giveaway

The secrets to successful online giveaways

It’s simple really: with more eyes, comes more followers. 

Giveaways are also a good way to promote your own brands or brands that you choose to partner with. Finally, giveaways can raise awareness for a cause or event, increasing the exposure for that occasion. 

Run a legal giveaway: guidelines to ensure success 

How do you run a legal giveaway? First of all, let’s not use that word… 

Giveaway, while a widely accepted term, is not actually a legal term. The term is a more casual word associated that is used conversationally or in blogs (like this!) to mean sweepstakes or contest. 

This means that you will want to use the word ‘contest’ or ‘sweepstakes’ in any technical material such as the rules and regulations of your own giveaway.

Another no? Charging a fee for entering your giveaway. By charging a fee, the promotion becomes a lottery and cannot be run unregulated. Similarly, you cannot charge for shipping of any products won in a giveaway contest, although participants can and should be expected to pay taxes on the prizes they receive, in accordance with their country’s tax regulations. 

Legally, it is important to keep your sweepstakes fair. This means never choosing your winner! Selecting your winner at random is the only legal way to select a winner at all. 

In the United States, there are certain things you cannot, under any circumstances, giveaway in your contest. It shouldn’t surprise you that you cannot giveaway tobacco or alcohol. 

To keep things fair and legal, you cannot extend the deadline for entry into your giveaway. Similarly, you must accept ANY applicants that meet your requirements for entry: under no circumstances is it legal to discriminate against an applicant. 

Finally, it is illegal to NOT award your winner with their prize. A promotion is a contract between YOU and the applicant. If, for whatever reason, your sponsor decides not to award their prize, you are still responsible for awarding it to your winner. 

And that’s it! Follow these guidelines for how to run a legal giveaway and you won’t have any trouble at all. Good luck!