As a business owner, you’ve most likely interacted with customers who made choices while using your website or app that weren’t compatible with your company policies.
Despite the different names, these are all the same type of agreement.
By establishing your businesses’ liabilities, you can limit what users can and can’t sue you for, which may help you save thousands of dollars in legal fees.
The clause above explains Etsy’s rules for account creation, but they also have a clause covering their guidelines for the content users post and another clause about the general use of their services.
We recommend keeping the guidelines within this clause broad, giving you more wiggle room to manage user accounts that break your rules.
As a business owner, you probably have images, videos, branding, and content you own and want to protect, which you can outline in a property rights clause within your terms or use.
You should also explain if or how these materials can legally be reused, reprinted, or duplicated by any third parties and might consider including a copyright disclaimer.
Tell your users what types of currency you take, what payment methods are accepted, and what happens if they miss a payment.
If your company focuses on selling products that you ship directly to your customers, you should also include links to other policies within this clause outlining those customer services, including any of the following that your company might use:
If you sell products online, you know how difficult it is to ensure the information is always accurate and up to date.
You can use this clause to explain to your users that your company is not responsible for any product discrepancies and state that you can end or refuse sales or promotions at any time without notice.
A limitation of liability is a statement from your company exclaiming that you’re not responsible for damages your users may suffer from accessing your services. It’s in your best interest to keep this clause as broad as legally possible.
A user contributions clause outlines the rules your users must follow when posting something to your website or app. Here, you can also inform your users about what rights they retain over that content.
Below, read how Mailchimp explains the informal negotiations they use if disputes arise.
See an example of this clause below from Mailchimp.
If your website or app allows users to create profiles, you want to ensure they have access to the rules and expectations they must follow before they make their account.
You might also consider including a link to the policy in your promotional emails, order confirmation emails, and shipment tracking pages.
A privacy center is a section on your website or app that holds all your privacy compliance documents, legal agreements, and any other policies you want your users to easily find and read.
We recommend you link to your privacy center in your website footer, like Facebook in the example below.
The clickwrap method is considered direct consent because your users are aware that selecting the checkbox means they agree to your terms, which is easier to hold up in court than implied consent methods.
Not only do they link to their policy in the footer of their website, payment page, and their new account creation portal, but they also include multiple points of contact for users who may have questions, comments, or concerns about their agreement, as seen in the example below.
They make it as easy as possible for their global customer base to access, read, and understand their policy by linking to different languages right in the introductory clause, see below.
Even though Disney’s clauses are long, they are written in simple terms and are very thorough, like their property rights clause pictured below.
Some companies summarize important clauses for their users in plain language, which you might consider adding to your agreement.
Some templates, like ours, are designed to be simple to read, which is ideal because users must be able to consent to the policy.
By clearly outlining all rules and prohibited activities for your website, you are properly setting your users’ expectations, increasing trust and transparency.