The Do’s and Don’ts of Website TOU’s
I create business contracts and terms such as these on a daily basis. In my time as a Business Attorney in Kansas City I have developed what I consider, “Do’s and Don’ts” in establishing best legal practices.
When it comes to contract law, one template does not fit all. A DON’T, in my opinion one should never utilize a template taken from any provider who is not aware of the specifics of your business. It is critical that your terms are outlined considering your unique services. These terms and conditions are what protects your business if something goes wrong.
DO make them enforceable by following four basic requirements;
- Adequate notice of the existence of the proposed terms
- Meaningful opportunity to review the terms
- Adequate notice that taking a specified action manifest assent to the terms
- Action specified in such notice is taken by the user
In regard to the TOU and other agreements, DO make sure that the two do not conflict. Often times many companies, especially those in the Software as a Service (SAAS) space have paper contracts with their clients or vendors. These agreements require the other party to comply with both the agreement and the TOU. It is not uncommon for terms that conflict or overlap between documents. Do make sure to make clear which documents or terms take precedence.
Lastly, DO protect your content. Most online services involve some sort of content including news, articles or some form of information. If you own content, put limits on how you want it used. If you allow others to post content it is in your best interest to have a Code of Conduct.
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