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Website Terms and Conditions

When operating a website it is important to include a set of terms and conditions that customers will be able to access to understand your business policies. There is no pre-determined formula for creating a set of website terms and conditions. However, there are several main categories to think about when creating terms and conditions on a website. These include payment/returns, legal/terms of service, privacy policy, and copyright and intellectual property. All of these categories can have an impact on your business if you do not make them explicitly clear to the customers of your site.

Every small business owner understands that providing for payment is one of the most important aspects of running any business. This is no less true of small business that is run online. It is important to make clear the form of payments that are accepted, any additional charges (shipping, taxes, etc.), and under what terms returns are accepted. Failing to explicitly make these policies clear to the customer can result in angry customers and potential legal liability.

This section provides for more of the legal liability that results from customers using your website. It is important to ensure that customers either affirmatively accept the terms and conditions of the site or are aware that their use of the website constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions. It is also important for the terms and conditions to be spelled out clearly. Issues covered under this category include disclaimer of warranty, choice of law and forum (where any disputes will be adjudicated), and indemnity or disclaiming yourself from liability for when the customer violates the terms and conditions of the contract.

As more people become familiar with online contracting and purchasing products and services online it is important to have a clear privacy policy for information generated from customers and users. More and more people are becoming conscious of the risks of disseminating their private information on the Internet. As a result it is important to boost user confidence in your website by having a clear and responsible policy for dealing with customer and user personal information. A prominently displayed privacy policy can gain the trust of customers and make them loyal for a long time to come.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

It is important to protect any copyrighted and intellectual property you may have used in developing your website. Spelling out on your website that the contents are protected by federal laws allows you to protect your hard work on materials that you use on your website.

Help with Drafting Website Terms and Conditions

As we have discussed, drafting and prominently displaying terms and conditions for your website can be of the utmost importance to your online business and/or website. It is of paramount importance to seek the advice of your local Burlington County business lawyer not only when drafting terms and conditions, but also in how they are displayed and accessed by the end user.