Websites, apps, and other goods and services can come with certain rules for use, called terms and conditions. When written correctly, terms and conditions are legally binding agreements between companies and users. They’re a great way to protect your company from liability and set expectations for your users—but understanding how to write a terms and conditions agreement can take significant time and expense.
Read on to learn how to write an enforceable and cost-effective set of terms and conditions.
What’s included in terms and conditions?
Terms and conditions vary, depending on what kind of goods or services your company offers. Think of them as rules for how your users or consumers can access and use your goods and services. From social media to food delivery apps, terms and conditions can help to protect your company from liability. If a user accepts the terms and conditions, they agree to abide by those rules, lest their access be revoked.
Terms and conditions agreements often include:
- Governing law: Terms and conditions agreements choose the governing law which applies, which is typically the country and state in which you’re headquartered.
- Terms of service: These are the rules for engaging with your service or goods. These should be written in plain language, to ensure your users can understand what’s expected of them, and as detailed as necessary to limit liability.
- Content clause: If your service allows users to upload their own content for the benefit of other users, a content clause does two things. First, it ensures that they retain the copyright to their own work. Second, it grants you a license to display the content for the benefit of the public or other users. If you include a content clause, you should also include a DMCA takedown notice informing users that if you receive a takedown notice for copyrighted content, you can remove it without warning.
- Intellectual property clause: This clause informs users that your own intellectual property, such as logos, website contents, and visual media belongs to the company.
- Third-party website limitations: This notifies users that you are not responsible for links to third-party websites or their terms and conditions. Users are responsible for reviewing and agreeing to those terms on their own.
Where should you display your terms and conditions
It’s important to display your terms and conditions in a place where users are likely to encounter them early on in their interaction with your business. For example, if the terms and conditions are for an app, you can introduce them during account creation or when the app is first launched.
On websites, terms and conditions can be linked in the footer of each page. E-commerce sites often include them on the checkout page, so users know what they’re agreeing to before they finalize their purchase. Finally, some websites and apps link to their terms and conditions within their privacy policies.
Do users need to agree to your terms and conditions?
If you want your terms and conditions to be legally enforceable, best practices dictate that you have the user select something that indicates affirmative consent, like clicking an “I agree” button, after reviewing your terms and conditions. This might be the final step before creating a user account or making a purchase.
Users should be aware that they’re agreeing to be bound by the set of terms and conditions, and have the ability to review, save, and print the agreement. Some apps and websites require the user to click a checkbox stating “I have read the terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them,” in addition to an “I agree” or similar submit button. This is not mandatory, but helps ensure that they are knowingly entering into a contractual agreement.
How to write terms and conditions with SixFifty
Despite knowing what should be included in a terms and conditions agreement, it’s not always clear how to write terms and conditions without the help of an attorney. While that’s a great way to ensure that your agreement is legally enforceable, it’s also expensive.
SixFifty makes it easy to write your own terms and conditions. Our proprietary legal software pairs real legal expertise with powerful technology. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your company and download the automatically generated document. SixFifty’s legal tools make it cost-effective and easy to protect your company.
Ready to find out more? Schedule a free product demo today!