These days, many businesses rely on their website to generate leads, engage with current clients (eg by publishing blogs and free resources) and develop a recognisable brand. Now, more than ever, businesses need comprehensive, top-quality website terms and conditions to ensure that they receive all the benefits from their website presence while managing their risk exposure.
Read on to find out why your business needs website terms and conditions, and how to get them in place fast.
“Are They Really Worth It?”
In short, absolutely. Here are just a few ways that website terms and conditions can help your business:
Set expectations. Having clearly written terms and conditions on your website is a clear way to outline expectations. The user knows what your website provides, how they must behave and how they must use and not use the website, and what happens if they breach the terms. This is one of many ways that legal documents can help your business maintain good relationships with its customers.
Control who uses the website. For example, your business can reserve the right to revoke access to the website if a user engages in prohibited conduct (eg spams or posts derogatory content) or prohibit use of certain features unless the user is 18 years or older. Your business might suffer reputation damage or even break the law if they fail to put proper controls in place.
Protect your intellectual property. Your business website contains valuable intellectual property (eg the logo, content and even the design of the website) that cost a lot of time and money to create. Good website terms and conditions will include clauses which dissuade users from stealing this intellectual property and will make it easier to enforce your business’ legal rights if theft does occur.
Limit liability. Good website terms and conditions will include clauses that significantly limit the circumstances in which a user might successfully sue your business. Without them your business is at much greater risk of being a defendant in court proceedings, which are costly and distracting.
Keep it local. Your business might be located in Australia, but your website may be used by people all over the world. Good website terms and conditions will include a clause stating that the terms and conditions are to be interpreted in accordance with your local laws and if there is a dispute, the court proceedings have to take place in your State or Territory (saving you the cost and hassle of travelling to or engaging lawyers in other countries!).
“What Could Go Wrong?”
Here are just a few examples of what might happen if your business does not have good website terms and conditions posted on its website:
A user might suffer loss as a result of using your business website (eg they acted on information posted on the website and suffered financial loss, or malware infected their device). They sue your business and win. Your business is ordered to pay the user compensation. Your business becomes insolvent and shuts down.
A user posts several offensive comments in the comments section of the blog posts on your business website. One of your clients visits the blog and is offended. They keep browsing your website and notice that you do not have any terms or conditions prohibiting or condemning that behaviour. They know that your business did not personally make the posts, but they now have a bad impression of your business and the kinds of clients you might work with. Soon after, they see an advertisement of one of your competitors and decide to try them out. They end up moving all their business from your business to your competitor.
A client has a bad experience using your products or services. They visit your website but there are no terms and conditions telling them where to direct feedback and how your business manages complaints. They try to contact you, but you are in a client meeting and cannot answer their calls or emails. They become frustrated, and decide to give you their feedback by posting a negative review about your business. Potential customers see what is a very negative, recent review about your business and decide to use a competitor instead.
Can your business afford to take those risks?
“I’m Convinced, I Need Website Terms And Conditions Now”
Making website terms and conditions for your business is fast and easy using our online services. All you need to do is answer some interview questions about your business and our online service will instantly generate a top-quality set of terms and conditions that has been tailored to your business based on your answers and that you can immediately add to your website.
You can make website terms and conditions in minutes using our automated online service for only $250 + GST. Answer questions to build a document that fits your needs, fast and without fuss. Click the button to start building your website terms and conditions now.
Or, you might prefer for a lawyer to take care of the process for you. In that case, click here to book in your free consultation and we will do the rest.
This blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is a general commentary on matters that may be of interest to you. Formal legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on any matter arising from this communication.