If you’re a provider of goods and services on a web-based platform, it’s a good idea to have a set of Terms of Use in place between your business and your customer. 

Terms of Use will help limit risk and your liability should you run into trouble with your customers and clients.

If you’re running a web-based service, continue reading to see how Terms of Use could protect your business. 

What Are Terms Of Use?

Terms of Use are a legal document that sets out the terms and conditions by which users can access your web application. 

They are sometimes referred to as Terms of Service. They are needed to be provided by businesses who provide web-based services or software to customers. 

Terms of Use are important because they limit your liability, set rules by which users can access and use your web app and provide other important protections, limitations, rights and responsibilities specific to your web application.

When Do I Need Terms Of Use?

Terms of Use are most commonly used on web-based services.

Examples of such services include e-commerce stores, social media websites and online marketplaces. 

However, Terms of Use aren’t limited to the above scenarios as they are generally used on any online platform that web browsers can visit. 

This is because the document will govern how people can and cannot access the content on your online business platform, as well as provide rules on using your platform.  

If you’re an online business operating off a website, it’s important to make sure the rules of accessing your web-based platform are clear to your users. Clearly positioning your Terms of Use on your site is a good way to do this. 

How Do I Use Terms of Use?

Your Terms of Use are a legal document — but how exactly do you have your customers accept and sign that contract?

Generally, a web-based platform will have their Terms of Use placed somewhere clearly and easily accessible on their website.

Before you allow users to access or use your web application, it’s a good idea to make sure that they read and accept your Terms of Use

How does this work? Let’s look at the example below. 

An Example 

Alex has created an app that allows users to create personal to-do lists. There is a free version, and also some paid premium features.

Before users can access the app, Alex requires them to create an account and tick a checkbox stating that the user agrees to the App’s Terms of Use before proceeding

The Terms of Use will include details about how the app can and cannot be used, limitations and disclaimers about the app, the payment and refund policy for premium users, and a privacy policy detailing how information uploaded to the to-do list will be handled by the application.

What’s Included In Terms Of Use?

Typically, a Terms of Use document will address the following issues:

  • Payment: If you’re a store that takes payments, how will your business receive these payments from users? What will happen if a customer doesn’t pay?
  • Accessibility: On what terms are users able to access your web application’s content? Are there any restrictions to access?
  • Intellectual Property & Confidentiality: Who owns the intellectual property for the content provided on your application? Are you licensing any intellectual property?
  • User Obligations: What terms must your users abide by when using your website?
  • Limitation of Liability: Who is responsible if things go wrong?
  • Termination: If users don’t abide by your Terms of Use, how will you terminate access?

Need Help With Terms Of Use?

A well-drafted Terms of Use document will ensure your business is protected legally and will cover all the relevant provisions if something were to go wrong.

Having a lawyer draft your Terms of Use will give you clarity around the terms on which you’re engaging with users. 

At Sprintlaw, we focus on drafting easy to understand and comprehensive contracts for many online businesses. 

Feel free to get in touch to have a chat to us about your business and your questions about Terms of Use. You can reach us by giving us a call on 1800 730 617 or via email at team@sprintlaw.com.au

About Sprintlaw

Sprintlaw is a new type of law firm that operates completely online and on a fixed-fee basis. We’re on a mission to make quality legal services faster, simpler and more affordable for small business owners and entrepreneurs.

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