Terms and Conditions are an essential part of any website. They set the rules of your platform, essentially helping you protect your business from malicious activities, intellectual property theft, and certain liabilities.
A Terms and Conditions page typically includes a lot of information, such as sections on copyright, third parties, cookies, prohibited behavior, disclaimers, etc. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, it helps to use a Terms and Conditions legal template from The Contract Shop.
A Terms and Conditions page is one of the legal pages you need on a website, because it acts as a form of a legal agreement between you and your users about the use of your website; it’s like a set of house rules.
But are Terms and Conditions necessary? Legally speaking–no. Data protection laws don’t mandate it, but it’s good to have, regardless, as a way to safeguard your business.
What you include in your website Terms and Conditions will largely depend on the specificities of your business. To get you started, here’s a list of the sections that are common on most Ts and Cs pages:
The governing law statement identifies the national and state laws that govern the agreement set in your Terms and Conditions. For example, if your business is based in New York City, it will fall under the laws of the state and the U.S. So, if something happens that needs to be taken to court, it’ll be under New York’s jurisdiction.
An intellectual property notice informs users of your intellectual property rights, including copyrights and trademarks of your content. It asserts that, by acknowledging your Terms and Conditions, users agree not to distribute your work in any way for any purpose.
A limitation of liability disclaimer limits your responsibility over certain aspects of your website, including third-party activities. It’s smart to limit your liabilities for modifications, interruptions, and errors or inaccuracies, as well as for damages caused by viruses, hacking, etc.
A third-party statement states that you’re not liable for any third parties that your website links to. It also transfers the responsibility of knowing the policies, rules, and terms of third-party links to users.
Your statement on prohibited uses should list the various activities that are unacceptable when using your website, preventing people from misusing your platform or harming other users. These could include activities such as using offensive language, posting malicious content, and stealing other people’s information, among others.
This section should list the sanctions you can enforce if any users don’t follow the rules you’ve drafted in your Terms and Conditions or if they engage in anything listed specifically in your prohibited uses section. In most cases, you can suspend or terminate an offending user’s access to your website.
The acknowledgment statement is a short clause at the end of the Terms and Conditions that explains that the user has read the document and agrees to comply with it. This is usually presented as a checkbox that a user can tick off before entering your site or using your service.
Creating Terms and Conditions from scratch can be taxing, especially if you’re not an expert in the legal technicalities involved–but you don’t need to hire a lawyer for a comprehensive and legally-compliant agreement. You can simply get a Terms and Conditions template from The Contract Shop and customize it to your business!
Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.
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