This article will go over the basics of what these agreements should include and why they’re so important. Keep in mind that, depending on your specific business and whether or not you offer things or services online, your Terms of Service agreement may require considerably broader clauses than those discussed here.
To protect your business from legal liability resulting from destructive actions and abuse by your users, your Terms of Service define the rules for accessing and using your website. They also protect your content and other intellectual property from being copied without your permission. Defamatory content, spamming, unlawful content, and stealing your work are all common forms of user abuse.
Ownership of content:
This section details who owns the content on your site and how users may or may not use or share it. Make a note if you possess intellectual property rights to any site’s content, such as copyrights or trademarks.
A disclaimer informing users that you are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content of your website. Additionally, if you permit users to publish content or comments, you should specify that you are not responsible for any illegal, abusive, or defamatory posts generated by third parties.
This section identifies the location of your business and the applicable law (state or country) in the event you are sued.
There are several ways to get a user to agree to your terms of service.
- Another approach is called “Clickwrap,” in which you ask for the user’s consent by having them check a box or click a button to indicate that they’ve read and agree with the terms before allowing them to use your site. It is the most effective way to enforce a legal agreement between you and the user. The court is more likely to find that an agreement exists between you and the user if the user has to take some action.
This article is a service of Greg Gordillo, Family Business Lawyer™. We offer a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Schedule your LIFT Session today!
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