Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions (T&C) agreements are oftentimes referred to as Terms of Service or Terms of Use agreements. They act as a legal agreement between a company and its users. Currently there are no laws that require a company to have a Terms and Conditions agreement for a mobile app or website, therefore making them completely optional. However, it's a smart move to have one.

Why is Having a T&C a Good Idea?

While a T&C isn't required for your app or website, it is still legally binding and enforceable once agreed to. This makes having a T&C a good idea because is allows you to legally control certain aspects of the use of your website or app.

T&Cs can be used to specify and restrict the things that users are allowed and not allowed to do with your app or website. They can be used to prevent potential abuses of your website or app. Furthermore, they can be used as a form of protection for your company.

These agreements become legally binding the moment a user accepts them. Once your users accept your T&C, they are legally bound to the agreement and can have their use of the website or app terminated for breaking the agreement. They can also face legal consequences as a result of the breach of contract. This puts your company in a better position to control your website or app than you would without a T&C.

A T&C a good idea if you are using your app or website to sell a product. In the agreement you can outline payment methods, shipping processes, return policies, refund policies and various other aspects of how transactions will be handled. Outlining these various things in a T&C is a good idea because it is one of the first things that potential customers see when they try to create an account or make a purchase.

Once a customer is aware of your T&C, they will know exactly what they are able to do and not to do and how your company operates. Furthermore, you will also want to include any warranty information and product liability information in a clause within the T&C for your legal protection.

Benefits of a T&C

There are several benefits to having a T&C on your app or website. Some of these benefits include limiting your liability, protecting your intellectual property, reserving the right to terminate accounts and restricting abusive behavior.

These benefits give you more control over the way that users interact with your website or app. Furthermore, having the ability to protect your intellectual property and limit your liability is important for your business from several angles ranging from legal concerns to branding and copyright concerns.

How to Create Your T&C

There are several things that should be included in a T&C. Depending on the nature of your business, a T&C may not be needed, but it is still important to consider whether or not one would be useful to you.

Some important questions to ask when deciding whether or not you need or want a T&C are as follows:

  • Are users able to create an account?
  • Are users able to publish or create content on your website or app?
  • Are users able to purchase products through your website or app?
  • Are users able to sell products through your website or app?
  • Will your website or app contain sensitive information?
  • Do you want to limit your liability for the use of your website or app?
  • Are you using your website or app to do business with customers or other businesses?

After considering these questions, you should think about the things that you want to include in your T&C. Some of the key things that should be included in your T&C are the following:

  • Notice of Agreement: Make it clear to users that the T&C is an agreement between you and them. This notice should be placed at the beginning of your T&C, as Verizon has done in the screenshot below.

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