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The Legal Paige - Don't Publish Your Website Without THIS!

Don't Publish Your Website Without THIS!

Business owners and website designers LISTEN UP! If you are designing your website for yourself or a client you need to make sure you are protecting the website, the business, and the website’s users. Specifically, you need to remember to add Terms & Conditions to your website. This is usually found in that little link that you see all the way down at the bottom of the site, out of the way for appearance purposes, but still available to current and future customers to view.The Legal Paige Website Terms and Conditions

What are Website Terms & Conditions?

Website Terms and Conditions outline the rules and regulations of a website for all users. Website T&Cs are important to protect your business from legal disputes and potential unforeseen liability. Courts view these terms as an agreement between your business and website users. 

Your Website Terms and Conditions should include the following rules for users of your site: 

  1. Minimum age for users to interact with your site (13 years old is the standard age according to COPPA) (21 for alcohol and controlled substances).

  2. Intellectual property notice for all website users. 
    • This includes warning customers or users that they cannot steal content from your site, nor can they steal, duplicate, or reproduce the products they purchase (especially if they are digital).  
      3. Purchase policies of goods and/or services. 
    • If you are selling digital goods including stock photos, courses, presets, templates, etc. you need to include your licensing terms. Usually, this is a non-exclusive one-time license to use, but it can vary from business to business. It should also include if you upcharge for additional licenses to them to share the content with others or team members. 
      4. Communication policies. 
    • This needs to outline how website users can reach you whether this is through a support email or a contact form on your site. 
  1. Affiliate Relationships.
    • This is only applicable if you are an affiliate for other companies and should explain to your users that you may utilize affiliate links throughout your website. To comply with FCC regulations, you are required to disclose this information and inform users of any compensation you may receive from them clicking on links.

Other things your Website Terms and Conditions should cover are earnings disclaimers, termination of users if a rule is broken, the jurisdiction of disputes, and choice of law information. It is important that you not only have T&Cs on your site but that you update them every year! Your website should indicate the latest date the T&Cs were updated so that users know you often revise and enforce these rules. 


Do I legally need Website Terms & Conditions? 

Every single website should have terms and conditions to help prevent and protect against liability. But, it isn’t legally required by law like Privacy Policies are.

For example, if you're a drop shipper and sell products through a third party that takes payment on their own platform and fulfills orders, the drop shipper should still have Website Terms and Conditions on their site. Although the drop shipper’s customers don't actually purchase any products through their website, from a customer’s view the website they landed on is the same one that is taking their money and fulfilling their order.

So if a user steals the intellectual property displayed on the website, disputes the return policies, or disputes the warranties or uses of the product, the business can refer the customer back to their Website Terms and Conditions listed on the site.  

Overall, every website needs to have website terms and conditions readily accessible—usually in the footer—and easy to read. Most people know to scroll down to the bottom of the website to find these documents, so don’t try to hide them somewhere else on your site. All in all, your website needs to inform everyone using your website of the standard business practices you have. Additionally, it is important to have a Privacy Policy on your website! To learn more about a Privacy Policy and why you need one read about it HERE! If you need any help creating a privacy policy for your site, check out The Legal Paige’s Website Terms & Conditions plus Privacy Policy template bundle.


THIS BLOG POST IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. EVERY SITUATION IS DIFFERENT & IS FACT-SPECIFIC. A proper legal analysis is necessary based on your location and contract. Consult an attorney in your home state for advice regarding your contract or specific legal situation.

See our full disclaimer here.

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