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Terms and conditions are the vital details that businesses put in place to ensure that they protect their rights. However, you should also ensure that they are legal, enforceable, and serve their intended purpose. Otherwise, you leave your company exposed to legal liabilities or unwanted consequences.
Rather than leave your contracts to best guesses, check out the information below to learn more about terms and conditions.
What are Terms and Conditions?
Terms and conditions are part of a that ensure parties understand their contractual rights and obligations. Parties draft them into a legal contract, also called a legal agreement, in accordance with local, state, and federal contract laws. They set important boundaries that all contract principals must uphold.
Types of legal contracts that contain terms and conditions include:
- Real estate contracts
- End-user license agreement (EULAs)
- Software as a Service (SaaS) agreements
- Construction contracts
- Insurance contracts
- Employment contracts
- Financial contracts
- Information technology contracts
- Freelance contracts
- Healthcare contracts
- Service contracts
- Business contracts
- Entertainment contracts
Several contract types utilize terms and conditions. When there is a formal agreement to create with another individual or entity, consider how you would like to structure your deal and negotiate the terms and conditions with the other side before finalizing anything. This strategy will help foster a sense of importance and inclusion on all sides.
What’s Included in Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions are very broad in the abstract sense. However, they contain more specific provisions depending upon the contract size, industry, and complexity. You will find that there are standard components included across several types of terms and conditions.
Terms and conditions may include:
- Intellectual property rights
- Termination clauses
- Governing law clause
- DMCA notice clause
- Limitation of liability
- Enforceability clause
- Arbitration clause
- Confidentiality clause
- Indemnification clause
- Severability clause
- Definitions clause
Each one of these terms and conditions has a purpose. Some agreements require certain provisions, while others do not. The only way you can be sure about your terms and conditions requirements is by discussing your project with a contract lawyer .
Purpose of Terms and Conditions
The purpose of terms and conditions is to provide a set of instructions for all parties of a contract. They also offer guidance to courts regarding the intent and purpose of the transaction at the time it was created.
Elements of terms and conditions may include:
- Contact info
- Signature lines
- Handling disputes
- Important dates
- Payment terms
Terms and conditions exist to inform people of their rights when engaging in a business transaction. They carry legal implications of which both parties should be aware. Carefully review all contracts before signing them since many do not let you cancel them without penalty before fulfilling your obligations.
Terms and Conditions vs. Terms of Service
Terms and conditions and terms of service are different. Using them interchangeably will result in legal errors or miscommunications. Avoid this situation by reviewing their definitions separately.
Below, check out the differences between terms and conditions vs. terms of service.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions refer to the contractual rights and obligations of a party to any contract. They refer to the broader concept of guidelines that parties must follow in an agreement. Your business can create them for any formalized business agreement.
Terms of Service
Examples of Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions are essential for any type of formal relationship. If you want to protect your legal rights, remember to always get it in writing. Otherwise, it’s your accusation against the other party in case a future dispute arises.
Examples of when to use terms and conditions include:
- Engaging in business with others
- Working for a company as an employee
- Selling products to consumers online
- Organizing a sweepstakes or lottery for participation
- Selling policies an insurance provider
- Offering services as a real estate professional
- Providing services as a construction contractor
- Building websites for customers
- Drafting a prenuptial agreement for high net worth couples
- Lending money or offering services to bank customers
- Privately selling your car to another person
- Hiring a freelancer through a job talent marketplace
- Taking people out on adventure excursions commercially
- Renting out hotel rooms to consumers
- Including a warranty with a consumer product
There are several reasons to include terms and conditions in a transaction. The rule of thumb is to incorporate them into your deal when providing a service or dealing with a sale in excess of $500. You should also utilize them when required by your industry or professional licensing organizations.
Image via Pexels by Linkedin Sales Navigator
Getting Help with Terms and Conditions
Your business must write airtight terms and conditions. An effective agreement mitigates the chances of a dispute and costly litigation. Ensure that an attorney drafts and negotiates your contract when getting help with terms and conditions.
These are a few other reasons that you will want to work with an attorney:
Reason 1. Understands Contracts
Poorly drafted contracts don’t perform as intended. Your attorney will review your situation to determine which provisions you should include in your agreement. They can also participate in negotiation discussions with the other party throughout the process if desired.
Reason 2. Guarantees Enforceability
If your terms and conditions are unenforceable, then they don’t serve your purpose. Your attorney has command of relevant contract laws to prevent this predicament from arising. It’s their job to guarantee that you walk away with an enforceable contract.
Reason 3. Knows Contract Law
Terms and conditions are subject to common contract laws. They must also comply with local, state, and federal laws. Whether you operate one or multiple locations, hire an experienced attorney to help you navigate this aspect of your agreements.
Reason 4. Prepared for a Dispute
It’s reassuring when someone understands your business’ legal history. Contract lawyers are also ready to handle a legal dispute if you face one down the road. They can help you renegotiate terms in case things change or fight them out in court.
Avoid Making Legal Mistakes
As you can see, the most proactive way to get legal help is by speak with contract attorneys. It is tempting to use boilerplate templates, but keep in mind that these agreements were created for another business at one point. Avoid inadvertent legal mistakes that can cost you your company by seeking advice from a licensed professional.
Meet some of our Terms and Conditions Lawyers
October 25, 2021
Abhijit "Beej" D.
Beej serves as counsel to innovators and entrepreneurs in a wide array of legal and business matters worldwide.
October 26, 2021
Small firm offering business consultation and contract review services.
October 26, 2021
Scott graduated from Cardozo Law School and also has an English degree from Penn. His practice focuses on business law and contracts, with an emphasis on commercial transactions and negotiations, document drafting and review, employment, business formation, e-commerce, technology, healthcare, privacy, data security and compliance. While he's worked with large, established companies, he particularly enjoys collaborating with startups. Prior to starting his own practice in 2011, Scott worked in-house for over 5 years with businesses large and small. He also handles real estate leases, website and app Terms of Service and privacy policies, and pre- and post-nup agreements.
January 24, 2022
I provide comprehensive legal and business consulting services to entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. My practice focuses on start-up foundations, business growth through contractual relationships and ventures, and business purchase and sales. Attorney with a demonstrated history of working in the corporate law industry and commercial litigation. Member of the Bar for the State of New York and United States Federal Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, Southern and eastern District Bankruptcy Courts and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Skilled in business law, federal court commercial litigation, corporate governance and debt restructuring.
October 26, 2021
I am a corporate and business attorney in Orange County, CA. I advise start-ups, early-growth companies, investors, and entrepreneurs in various sectors and industries including technology, entertainment, digital media, healthcare, and biomedical.
October 28, 2021
Oscar is a St. Petersburg native. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson University, College of Law. A former US Army Judge Advocate, Oscar has more than 20 years of experience in Estate Planning, Real Estate, Small Business, Probate, and Asset Protection law. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, and a second-generation Gator, he received a B.A. from the University of Florida and a J.D. from Stetson University’s College of Law. Oscar began working in real estate sales in 1994 prior to attending law school. He continued in real estate, small business law, and Asset Protection as an associate attorney with the firm on Bush, Ross, Gardner, Warren, & Rudy in 2002 before leaving to open his own practice. Oscar also held the position of Sales & Marketing Director for Ballast Point Homes separately from his law practice. He is also a licensed real estate broker and owner of a boutique real estate brokerage. As a captain in the US Army JAG Corps, he served as a Judge Advocate in the 3rd Infantry Division and then as Chief of Client Services, Schweinfurt, Germany, and Chief of Criminal Justice for the 200th MP Command, Ft. Meade, Maryland. He is a certified VA attorney representative and an active member of VARep, an organization of real estate and legal professionals dedicated to representing and educating veterans. Oscar focuses his practice on real small business and asset protection law.
October 28, 2021
We help simplify every transaction and provide a superior level of customer service to create long lasting and trusted relationships with our clients. Our goal is to guide our clients with practical and zealous legal representation and eliminate the difficult nature of any legal transaction.