We’re all familiar with the Terms & Conditions boxes on websites. The one they require us to complete before giving us access to a software trial, the new version of iTunes or another digital tool we’re dying to have right at that moment. But what does that Terms & Conditions do for a business on the other side of that empty box?
The Terms of Service, or Terms and Conditions is a legal tool used by digital entrepreneurs to explain and caveat the services and security they will be delivering to their clients.
The Internet has become the leading marketplace for goods, services and media, which means it is required that businesses display and cite a well-written Terms of Service on their website, listed with any contest or promotion they conduct and generally, any business they do online.
Create and Leverage Your Terms of Service
When embarking selling software online, it is imperative to construct and create a clean, precise and informative Terms of Service. Especially if you will allow website member(s) to post their content, plan on selling or exchanging something for money in return, giving anything away for free or any other sort of business transaction, you must have a Terms of Service page.
Once you have created your Terms of Service, and placed on its page of your website, you cannot simply forget it. You must remember to mention the Terms of Service whenever dealing with any purchase giveaway, contest or publication. Not remembering to cite the agreement will then void its validity. The smartest approach to have is to list the Terms of Service link upon every page of your website in order to keep it in the forefront of importance. Presenting the Terms of Serve immediately, allows the viewer to feel comfortable with the policies in place and that they do not agree to something that they were tricked into erroneously.
What your terms should include:
- List the restrictions and guidelines for any user content that may be within your website. This includes; mentioning the regulations of ages that can post, who is the owner of the content that is submitted, what is appropriate to submit to the website, and to restrict posters from posting any falsified information that may harm your company or the content.
- General website access should be covered in your agreement. Stating that access is granted to all, unless, of course, there is an option to open an account within your page which will call for an address to keep passwords secure, forbidding users from the modifying content and not being responsible for any information that may get lost. A sentence after this clarification that any account may be deleted or banned if the Terms of Service have been broken may be beneficial in keeping your community in order.
- Shortly following or preceding this section should be a disclaimer that your company does not endorse the opinions or representations of user comments or content within the website. Preventing any legal action against your company if any user-content gets out of hand or goes outside or your company’s mission or values.
As you create your terms, the specifications listed within the Terms and Conditions will most likely vary depending on the type of content or offerings that you feature on your website and the underlying commercial relationship between the user and the website operator (your business.)
We recommend that you obtain legal assistance to ensure that the Terms and Conditions you use in connection with your website, contests or products offer adequate protection for your business, while anticipating potential issues. If you need guidance, advice, or have questions about creating your terms, our team is here to help.