Thursday, June 22, 2017

Legalities: All About Your Terms, Privacy, and Disclaimer Pages

If you’re doing business – whether online or off – there are some legal details that must be dealt with, including adding the appropriate disclaimers to your website.

For most service providers, that means including three pages: Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, and a Disclaimer. Here’s what each does for you.

Terms and Conditions

This page is typically where you will spell out your payment terms, refund policy, and other information about doing business with you. For example, you might say that payment is required in advance, or that refunds on web design work will be pro-rated and not include design time already invested.

You may also want to mention that your content is yours alone, and that it cannot be republished anywhere without written permission. This falls under copyright laws, but it can’t hurt to include it.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy policy is where you’ll mention what you intend to do with the email address you’re collecting (you are building an email list, right? More on that later…), and how you handle confidential information.


Do you promote products for which you earn a commission? This is where you’ll include a mention of that. In fact, if you sell anything through an affiliate relationship, the FTC requires that notification of that relationship appear on your website somewhere.

The Right Words

If you’re handy with a phrase, you can probably simply pen your own terms and conditions, privacy policy, and disclaimer pages. Take a look at some other sites, read their legal notices, and then spend a few minutes creating your own. Just be sure to cover all the points above.

If you’re more comfortable with something a bit more formal, though, there are plenty of places online to find templates. Check out:

Just to name a few.

Finally, be sure to go back and check your legal pages for continuing validity and accuracy. If you ever run into a dispute with a client over payments, for example, be sure to update your pages to avoid having that same issue in the future. It’s also a good idea to keep up on changing laws, such as the recently enacted cookie law in the UK. Those types of changes definitely require an edit to your legal pages.

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