You’ve identified that your website or app needs legal protection from end-users and third parties. Terms and conditions are a perfect solution as they address a wide range of legal issues for Software as a Service (SaaS) organizations. However, it’s vital that you draft them with company-specific provisions to protect your and your customer’s legal rights.
The article below describes what every entrepreneur and business owner should know about how to write terms and conditions:
What Are Written Terms and Conditions?
How To Write Terms and Conditions – Step by Step
Are you ready to dive into the terms and conditions contract drafting process? A strategic approach will help you produce the best result and avoid mistakes along the way.
The section below outlines a step-by-step guide on how to write your terms and conditions:
Step 1. Write the Introduction
Start by telling the end-user the name of your product or service. Be sure to include all tradenames, affiliates, subsidiaries, parent companies, and doing-business-as designations. Typically, you can place this information at the top of your terms and conditions above the contract’s recitals.
Step 2. Draft the Terms of Service
Your website or app should have rules surrounding its use by customers and employees. Without clear expectations and guidelines, you leave yourself exposed to unwanted liabilities. Ensure that you take a more comprehensive approach to this section and address all legal issues.
Step 3. Create an Acknowledgment Statement
End-users must accept your terms and conditions for it to be a valid contract. An acknowledgment statement can satisfy this contractual element. For example, you could write: “The undersigned agrees to the terms and conditions contained herein.”
Step 4. Limit Your Liability
Your company can limit its liability in several ways. From malicious attacks to illegal user-generated content, input the actions for which you’re not responsible. Make a list of all prohibited activities so that there is no question about permissibility.
Step 5. List Who Owns Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property rights are valuable, intangible assets that give your company the recognition and competitive advantage it needs in the marketplace. Let your users know that all trademarks, copyrights, logos, and more are protected by the terms and conditions.
Step 7. Spell Out What Happens for Non-Compliance
You have a right to take action when end-users abuse or ignore the provisions outlined in your terms and conditions. Use this section to inform them of the steps you plan to take if you discover nefarious or unlawful activity.
Step 8. Add a Signature and Dateline for Both Parties
At the bottom of your agreement, add the signature and dateline. You should include a space for each party signing the contract. However, the technical implementation of the terms and conditions for your company will likely not require the affixation of signatures since consumers will primarily sign them online.
What’s Typically Included in Terms and Conditions?
Terms and conditions contain the rights, obligations, and stipulations associated with using your app or website. Most companies require end-users to accept them before receiving access. You can work with your developer on the technical implementation of a T&C and end-user acceptance after the contract drafting phase.
Here are some agreements, clauses, and policies typically included in a terms and conditions contract:
Choice of Law Clauses
Choice of law clauses , sometimes referred to as governing law clauses , specify which laws govern your terms and conditions. Businesses typically select the country, state, or province in which it’s headquartered. However, you may also choose any other relevant location.
End-User License Agreements
End-user license agreements , or EULAs, are the terms and conditions for licensing your software. The licensor is the company, and the licensee is the end-user. Due to the intricate nature of licensing terms, you should seek legal advice if you have strategic questions.
Intellectual Property Clauses
Intellectual property clauses, also called IP clauses, let users know that copyright and IP laws protect your company’s trademarks, logos, and copyrights. These provisions will prevent users from taking your digital assets and using them for commercial or personal reasons.
Prohibited Practices Clauses
Prohibited practices clauses limit what users may do with your product or service. Your termination clause gives you the right to suspend or terminate users from your site with or without notice when they engage in prohibited practices.
Software as a Service agreements, also referred to as Software as a Service contracts and SaaS agreements , are similar to EULAs. However, they address general legal issues related to cloud software instead of licensing. You can have your SaaS agreements work as a standalone document when creating your terms and conditions.
Technical Requirements Clauses
Technical requirements clauses tell users what technology is necessary to facilitate the use of your app, website, or software. As the digital landscape expands and shifts, it’s essential to contractually protect yourself in this arena. This clause should also help you align better with your target audience.
Termination clauses state that your company may terminate access to your applications and websites at your sole discretion. Structure your termination clauses meticulously and describe what will happen to the user’s data upon termination. Essentially, the data your app or website uses is generally yours to keep without having to release it back to terminated customers.
User-Generated Content Clauses
User-generated content (UGC) clauses tell end-users that liability for third-party websites and user-generated content is not your responsibility. Due to the popularity of UGC, it’s wise to place this clause into your agreements. Unsavory content and misinformation appear on websites routinely; make sure you aren’t on the hook for user actions.
Terms and Conditions vs. Terms of Service
There’s no apparent difference between terms and conditions vs. terms of service. You may use these terms interchangeably or according to the customs of your geographic location. However, it’s more appropriate to only use terms of service when referring to an application or website.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Write Terms and Conditions?
There are no laws that expressly state that you need to hire business lawyers when writing terms and conditions. However, consumer privacy laws demand stringent compliance to prevent a breach of contract. Get help from technology lawyers to help you with legal drafting for your T&Cs.
Do you need help drafting your T&Cs? Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get free quotes from lawyers to review.