Perhaps one positive spin to Covid-19 restrictions lead you to extend your business to the online world.
You have spent countless hours perfecting your website layout for your business. You are almost ready to launch. Before you do, you do a bit of online research to make sure you’ve covered everything a website needs and realised you didn’t take into account the less fun parts of creating a website such as a terms and conditions page.
Do I even need them? Technically, there is no legal obligation to have a terms and conditions page, however your website should have one.
What are website terms and conditions?
A website terms and conditions page sets out the rules for using your website, including how a user can use your website and the information on it and what you will, and will not, be responsible for. In the event of a dispute between you and a user of your website, the terms and conditions forms the basis of the relationship between you.
What should the terms and conditions page include?
A website terms and conditions should be tailored to your business to ensure that the manner in which users engage with your website is sufficiently covered.
Generally, website terms and conditions should cover:
- Privacy – if you are collecting information from website users such as IP addresses or locations or if you are using website tools and cookies to collect information you may need to disclose this to users. Privacy laws set out what information you may collect from website users, when you must disclose such collection and how collected information may be used and stored. The laws can be complex and if you operate a business selling goods or services the laws of other countries may apply.
- Liability – it’s a good idea to have a disclaimer limiting your liability to users for things such as errors on your website or third-party content.
- Intellectual Property – you will own the intellectual property rights in any content which you create and make available on your website. Your intellectual property is an asset of your business and it is important to make it clear that any information, content, images etc on your website is (unless otherwise stated) owned by you and cannot be downloaded, used, reproduced or copied without your consent.
- Payment terms – if users are able to make purchases through your website, it is important to set out the payment terms and conditions, the responsibilities of the user in terms of ensuring that all the information (such as payment and shipping details) they include is correct and details of your refund policy. There are some basic consumer rights which are set out in law and any refund policy will need to comply with these basic principles.
Writing your own website terms and conditions can be daunting. It is not recommended that you use terms and conditions from another website as they may not be appropriate for your business or comply with the laws applicable to your business or its operations.
We can assist you to better understand your legal obligations under privacy laws and tailor your website’s terms and conditions for your specific business needs. If your website needs terms and conditions or a review to ensure your business is covered, call us and ask us for a quote.
Our business is protecting yours.