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How to Write Terms and Conditions for Your Online Business

Running an online business can be a minefield if you don’t know what you are doing, and if you don't clearly and accurately communicate with customers, users, or browsers of your website. As an online business, it is your responsibility to stay up to date with anything that can affect your customers. It is your responsibility to ensure that terms and conditions are clearly set out, easy to understand, and easy to interpret at all times. So, what do you need to include in terms and conditions, and how should you write them to ensure clarity is achieved at all times.

What to Include in Your Terms and Conditions

If you want to attempt to write your one T & Cs then you have to ensure that they are thorough and relevant. You must not underestimate the importance of correctly worded and placed terms and conditions. To save yourself unnecessary stress and hassle you could use T&C samples, which is convenient, but you have to consider if it is in-depth enough for your business. Getting correctly worded and written samples produced by a professional for your business could save you time, effort, and money in the long run, so consider it a worthwhile investment. Below are just a few things you need to cover in your terms and conditions.

Limitations Clause and Governing Laws

You must take responsibility for informing visitors or users to your website or app that upon agreeing on using your website and services, they also agree to everything else listed in your terms and conditions. A limitations clause is where you specify the limits to what the users can do on your app or website. Terms and conditions form an agreement. This clause informs visitors which laws govern the binding agreement. They are usually laws from where the company is based, or where they operate from. You have to include all applicable laws in your governing law clause so that you’re covered.

A Clause That Covers Website Links

When you have links to other businesses and websites you need to let visitors know about 3rd party websites' privacy policies and terms and conditions and you need to make visitors aware that you and your business are not responsible for the content of the websites that the links on your website lead to.

Termination Clause

Within this clause, you inform users, that any accounts they create can be terminated if they violate any of the rules and guidelines that have been set out, and that they have agreed to. This should be included in any website terms and conditions. You have to have the right to terminate users and contracts, and your clause must include a visitor behavior limitation clause.

Clause That Covers Content and Service Availability Clause

The content clause is pretty standard on websites that have a blog section open for contributors, or any content uploading and sharing features. In this clause, you can inform visitors that they own the rights to the content they have created. You must also inform visitors that once they have uploaded their content your business might share this content and make it accessible to others. If you are providing a service via your website then this is a must-have and must include for your website. This clause recognizes breakdowns or errors can lead to the cessation of service. When you include this clause you are protecting yourself from and legal issues that may arise surrounding the availability of your service/s.

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Intellectual Property and Conditions of Use

Intellectual property is where you inform visitors or users that any content that is provided is the website owner’s property. You need to ensure you have this to protect your intellectual property. When it is included in your terms and conditions you are telling people that its unauthorized use is prohibited. These are often not ready by users or visitors but they are really important. They basically set out to say that the website owner will provide services to users which are subject to the conditions in a document (usually found alongside this wording). It usually states that every time someone uses the website's services or makes a purchase accepts the conditions you have set out.

Of course, different terms and conditions may be required for your business, and to ensure you cover all bases it is wise to seek professional advice and guidance. Not having the correct terms and conditions in place can cause you issues and problems, which may negatively impact your business, your branding, and ultimately your reputation.

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