What To Include When Creating The Terms & Conditions For Your Small Business Website

 

Drafting up website terms and conditions is important, although probably not first on anyone’s priority list. For the most part, terms and conditions are not really necessary, but they serve a very good purpose. For instance, terms and conditions protect information on the site and keep it from being claimed by others, and if for any reason someone gets mad and wants to file a court case against the site, the terms and conditions serve as legal protection.

It should be noted that if collecting personal data on people, like credit card information, login data, biographical data, etc. the site is required to have a Privacy Policy. The site must let people know if the data will or will not not be sold or shared with company partners and other buyers.

The terms and conditions page on a website should contain the following basic elements:

  • Limited Liability – State clearly that the site is not responsible for errors. If people can post to the site, state that the site is not responsible for posts by third parties.
     

  • Copyright – Include a copyright and trademark notice.
     

  • Privacy Policy – Remember a privacy policy is not necessarily the same as terms and conditions, but it is required by law if you are collecting personal data.
     

  • Set Governing Law – An example of a governing law statement is “Terms and Conditions governed by the law of the USA and the State of Texas.”
     

Here are several ways to work up your terms and conditions:

  • Browsing other websites and checking out their terms and conditions is a way to start. It is not legal to copy another site’s terms and conditions, but it is a good way to get started to get an idea of how to do it and what is necessary.
     

  • Use free websites, such as freenetlaw.com, which allows the downloading of templates for things like privacy policy and terms and conditions.
     

  • Another great site is legalzoom.com. The co-founder is Robert Shapiro of the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. Legalzoom is a little pricey, but the service is provided by some pretty smart guys, and if you are operating a serious website with good revenues, Legalzoom may be the wise choice for getting quality terms and conditions at a moderate price.
     

  • Lastly, a lawyer can always be hired to help draft the terms and conditions, although many businesses choose to go a different route.

 

 

This article was written by Richard Carranza of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.

 

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