All three legal documents must be written specifically for your business or operation. While it is tempting to copy from another website, this is a breach of copyright, and you could end up in hot water if you face a breach of privacy law or the ACL.
For large or complex entities, consider whether you need to have more than one policy (for different parts of your operation or business, or different functions or activities).
2. Terms and Conditions
There are five features of terms and conditions:
- description of products or services, and how these will be delivered, for clarity and certainty;
- payment terms, including the right to charge interest and use a debt collector or a solicitor to enforce payment;
- the mandatory consumer guarantees and your refund policy;
- dispute resolution to help you resolve disputes and avoid the cost and uncertainty of going to court; and
- disclaimers and limitations on your liability, to protect your interests.
Additionally, terms and conditions clarify your business’ rights with the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). There are three key types of online business and each requires different terms and conditions:
Service Business: Client Agreement
If your business sells services, you need a client agreement. Your client agreement sets out:
- the services you provide;
- how you will provide them; and
- your and your client’s obligations.
Shop or E-Commerce: Sales Terms and Conditions
These terms and conditions set out the information that you need to provide, and that customers seek, when they buy products from you. This includes:
- refund and exchange policy;
- limiting liability; and
- compliance with the ACL.
Well-drafted sales terms and conditions can be the difference between clients not paying or raising disputes.
Marketplace: Marketplace Terms and Conditions
Marketplaces need comprehensive terms and conditions that address both the issues in a usual terms and conditions and additional issues including:
- users providing correct information to the site;
- user content;
- legal relationships between the parties;
- your obligations; and
- users upholding their obligations.
- the personal information that you collect;
- how you use and disclose this information; and
- how you store the information.
It sets out a client’s right to:
- contact you;
- unsubscribe; and
There are sizable fines for breaching the Privacy Act, so it is important to comply. If you plan on sending promotional material to users, it is a good idea to let them know that they will be added to your mailing lists to prevent breaching any spam legislation and to maintain a high level of customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions about Website Legal Documents
Q: What is a website disclaimer?
A: A website disclaimer is different to general website terms and conditions as a disclaimer relates only to legal liability. Additionally, you should write a website disclaimer which specifies the limitations on your liability when problems arise.
Q: What is an acceptable use policy?
A: This policy contains a set of rules applied by a business that restricts the ways in which users can use a network, website or system. It generally contains information security policies.
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