If you’re like many business owners, you probably think you can just publish a website, some content and think everything will be okay but you actually need terms and conditions for your website.
Too many business owners are running their online businesses naively, that is, by not protecting themselves legally online.
You need to protect your website and your business, and the best place to start is with terms and conditions for your website. This should govern the use of your site, how your content is consumed, legal liability, and more.
Below you’ll see exactly why you need one for your website as soon as possible if you want to avoid legal issues in the future.
To Limit Your Liability
Without a clear and well-defined set of terms and conditions for your website, you could find yourself on the end of some silly and plain annoying legal issues.
This is especially true if you have a blog where you regularly publish informational types of content. Any kind of content that is how-to or educational in nature can potentially be something that could land you on the wrong side of the law.
Someone could read your content and go out and use that information. Then it may not work out as well as they’d hoped so they decide to blame you. This happens and people pursue this legally and this is exactly why you need to take steps to protect yourself against this kind of thing.
The way to avoid this is by getting an iron-clad disclaimer added into your terms and conditions that details any information consumed by another party is done at their own risk, and you’re not responsible for how they use that information. It’s entirely at their own risk and their own responsibility.
This is particularly important for those businesses in areas like personal fitness, health, alternative therapies, and more.
To Guarantee Intellectual Ownership Of Your Site And Content
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just slap up a website and post some content on it with a copyright symbol and think your intellectual property is legally protected. The copyright does give you a degree of protection but there is only one way to completely guarantee you have intellectual ownership of your website and content.
It’s by getting a clause written into your website terms and conditions that clearly states you’re the owner of the website and its content. The clause should include that your site and content are protected by the jurisdiction and intellectual property laws of the country you’re business is registered in.
You could take the risk and not get this written into your terms and conditions but if you do that, you could end up like this guy, Turner Barr, who had to fight tooth and nail just to get back ownership and rights to his site, content, and brand.
It’s not worth the hassle yet alone the crazy legal fee’s you’re bound to incur in the process.
To Establish A Legal Relationship
Whenever someone uses your website then they have entered into some sort of relationship with you whether you realise it or not. Now you need an agreement in your terms and conditions that states there is now a relationship between both parties, but you’ll want to set out in writing what that relationship is and means.
For example, if you’re selling products online then you’ll want to state out in your terms and conditions what the relationship is once a customer decides to buy from you. You’ll want to clearly define what their obligations are as a customer and what yours are as a business owner.
If you don’t put this in writing then you’ll no doubt find yourself dealing with many legal issues with customers that could have been avoided.
Terms And Conditions For Your Website Sets Governing Law
The terms and conditions need to mention what country’s legal jurisdiction your website falls under.
This is pretty simple, all it needs to state is that the terms and conditions are governed by the country you operate your business from and that’s it. However, you need to make sure that you include this in your terms and conditions because it then gives you legal rights if any legal disputes may arise.
If any legal disputes occur, you at least know your protected under the jurisdiction and laws of your country.
To Dictate Your Termination Policy
For whatever reason, you may want to terminate the account of a user on your website or ban them.
You need to get this included in your agreement as well to make sure that you’ve clearly set the conditions for termination. For example, say you run a membership site. You may want to include in the terms and conditions that you have the right the terminate the account and ban a user if they violate any of your rules or conditions for using the website.
This is particularly useful if you get a user who decides to abuse other users of your site, use offensive language, make racist remarks and so-forth. This termination policy then gives you the legal right and grounds to terminate their account and you can do so with full legal backing.
Final Words: Terms And Conditions For Your Website
It’s all well and good to have a business online and run your own website. However, you can’t operate it without a clear and well-defined set of terms and conditions for your website. It’s the only way to avoid hassles later on, legal disputes, and protect your business and interests.
And the only way you’ll be able to do that is by getting a lawyer to create and customise terms and conditions for your website that guarantees you’re protected. Get in touch with us to find out more.