Terms and conditions are rules and restrictions businesses set up for their customers to follow when using the business’s goods and/or services. Terms and conditions function as a contract between a business and its customers. Generally speaking, it’s not required for businesses, but they can go a long way toward preventing intellectual property theft, legal disputes, and help you defend your site against trolls or other abusive users. So, what exactly are terms and conditions? Read on to find out.

What is the purpose of terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions are designed to protect the business who offers them. They allow businesses to set their own rules, within the bounds of the law, regarding how their product or service can be used. It can include things like age limits, intellectual property protections, codes of conduct for customers to follow when interacting with your business, and more.

Setting some basic rules for your customers to follow can go a long way towards protecting your company. For instance, if your company offers a user forum for customers to discuss topics related to your business or troubleshoot potential issues with your product, including a code of conduct in your terms and conditions could help  ensure that you have the right to ban anyone who harasses or discriminates against other users.

Terms and conditions will vary depending on your industry and specific business, but they can be very helpful as a proactive measure, as long as they are legally valid. It is crucial when designing your policy to make sure that everything you include is compliant with applicable law so that the final document will be legally binding and enforceable in court.

What is included in terms and conditions?

Yours will vary, depending on what kind of company you are and the work you do. Typically, terms and conditions will include the basic rules that govern transactions between your business and its customers like delivery terms, details of any warranties you offer, your return policies, and more. They often  also include less obvious clauses that protect your company legally, like disclaimers limiting your business’s liability, terms establishing how and where disputes will be resolved, and provisions protecting your intellectual property.

Do businesses need terms and conditions?

Yes, businesses should have a set in place. If your company interacts with the public online, it’s smart to create your own policy that govern the usage of your site. After all, you never know when you may need to ban users for bad conduct or otherwise take action against someone for misusing your site.

Can I write my own policy?

Yes, you can write your own policy—but that doesn’t mean you should. Writing your own agreement can be risky because, unless you are well-versed in the applicable law, you might end up with a final document that is invalid because it doesn’t meet all of your legal requirements. Improperly drafted terms and conditions could subject your business to  legal risk, so having someone with legal expertise create them is smart and will protect your business in the long run.

Unfortunately, hiring a lawyer is expensive, and few small businesses have their own legal research team on staff. Instead of trying to do all the research on your own, or hiring an expensive lawyer, try SixFifty instead. We use world-class  legal expertise in conjunction with cutting-edge proprietary software to allow you to create a set of legally compliant terms and conditions for a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your business and its activities, then our software will do the rest. With SixFifty, you can rest assured that your business is protected by a strong set that complies with all applicable laws.

How to create a professional terms and conditions with SixFifty

SixFifty works hard to help small businesses create their own legal documents, at a fraction of the cost it would take to hire a lawyer. Instead of racking up billable hours or asking your in-house legal team to spend valuable time researching and writing, we do the heavy lifting for you.

It couldn’t be easier: between the easy-to-use interface and automatic document generation, you can have your own ready-to-use terms and conditions agreement ready for legal review in no time. Best of all, we constantly monitor the legal landscape to update you whenever a change in the law  affects your terms and conditions. When that happens, we’ll make sure you know about it and our tool will walk you through the changes you need to make to your document in order to stay compliant. Now that you know what they are, why not let SixFifty help you create your own compliant policy? Reach out to us for a free product demo today.