5 Reasons why your website should have terms and conditions

01 03 2016

If your business is online, terms and conditions are a must. They are an electronic contract that is legally binding between you and your customers. Specifically they govern what customers or users must comply with in order to access and use your website. That’s why you’ll find most websites have them, as they can provide protection from claims by website users made against you or your business.

Whether you are blogging or selling goods or services, here are five reasons why your website should have terms and conditions.

Regulate the use of your website

Unfortunately you have no control over how customers will use or misuse information on your website. Your website terms and conditions help protect your business, just as consumer law protects the consumer. That’s why it is essential to include a clause that sets out the guidelines for using your website, for example, prohibit posting abusive material, using robots or scrapping devices to copy content, using the website in an unlawful or illegal manner or simply using the website in a manner that breaches your written terms and conditions.

Protect your intellectual property

In addition to registering your trademark, your terms and conditions can protect your website’s intellectual property from unauthorized use. A copyright and trademark clause informs your users that you are the owner of all content contained on your website. This type of clause can specify that users of your website are not allowed to reproduce your content or trademark without your written consent.

Bank requirements

If you are selling goods or services online then you’ll often need a merchant account in order to accept credit card transactions. Banks regularly request a copy of your website’s terms and conditions before they issue you with a merchant account. And if you are selling goods or services online, your terms and conditions should stipulate your refund, repair or replacement policy and details on your warranties and guarantees.

Comply with privacy laws

Most people are very cautious of sharing their personal information online and as a result, the need for a comprehensive privacy policy for your website is crucial. Your privacy policy should specify for example what information you gather, how that information is used, who has access to it and what you do to protect the information. How you safeguard your user’s personal information is an important step in building trust with your users, not to mention repeat visitors. After all, it doesn’t matter if your website is a blog or online business, every website should have a privacy policy.

Limit your liability

Most importantly is a clause in your terms and conditions that limits your liability. This type of clause aims to regulate your liability for any loss, damage, liabilities or claims and expenses that they may suffer whilst using your website. Whilst you can’t stop someone from making a claim against you, your terms and conditions can help protect your business.

Remember, your website terms and conditions provide protection from claims made against you or your business. So make sure your terms and conditions are well written by a technology lawyer / IT lawyer, and have you covered.

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