When you are running an online competition, it is important that you have clear terms and conditions that comply with the Australian Consumer Law and applicable state regulations. If you are unsure of which laws and regulations apply to you, you should seek assistance from a business lawyer in drafting your terms and conditions.
A well-drafted set of terms and conditions for an online competition that no only requires luck, but skill, should clearly address the 10 items set out below.
Are you running and promoting this competition on your own? If not, you need to identify the individuals and/or entities that are promoting the competition on your behalf.
Who can enter this competition? Are your entrants limited to Australia only? Will you accept international entrants? What age does the entrant need to be? Your terms and conditions need to make clear who is allowed to enter your competition, and who is not allowed, for example, employees and immediate family members.
We also recommend adding a clause which states that entry into the competition means that the entrant warrants that he or she meets the entry requirements and accepts these terms and conditions.
3. Time frame
You should identify when the competition starts, when submissions will close, and when the winner will be announced. Competitions need to have a clear timeframe from opening to the closing date and time.
You need to be specific in your terms and conditions about how entries can be submitted and what requirements there are. For example, do the entrants simply upload a photo and use appropriate hashtags, or are they required to upload their submissions through a link in a particular format? You should also outline the number of entries allowed per person, how the winners will be chosen and how they will be notified.
5. Costs and expenses
It should be clear in your terms and conditions that the entrants are responsible for any and all expenses that they incur in entering the competition and that they will not be reimbursed regardless of whether or not they win the competition.
6. Intellectual property
It is important that you include an intellectual property clause in your terms and conditions. Your terms and conditions should require the entrant to warrant that he or she has all necessary rights to provide the intellectual property to you and consent to any act or omission which would otherwise constitute an infringement of their intellectual property. If you like, you can include an express license of the intellectual property to you, so that you can use it for promotional or advertising purposes.
We recommend that your terms and conditions include a right for you to disqualify any entrants or entries where you reasonably suspect any unlawful or improper conduct, such as infringing a third party’s intellectual property rights, or if there has otherwise been a breach of the competition terms and conditions.
Each state has their own requirements in relation to notifications of winners of competitions. You are generally required to publish the name of the winner on the relevant website or social media platform approximately 24 hours after the final decision, and this notice should remain on the website or platform for a certain number of days. If you are unsure of the notice requirements for your state, you should speak to a business lawyer.
If you are not the supplier of the prize, you should state that the prizes are subject to conditions imposed by the particular supplier or organiser. In addition, if you require identification upon collection of the prize, to avoid the possibility of disputes and uncooperativeness, this should also be stated in the terms and conditions.
If you are planning on running a game of skill online and are unsure about how to draft your competition terms and conditions, you should contact an experienced business lawyer. The lawyers at LegalVision work with businesses of all sizes that frequently run online competitions. If you’re in need of legal advice, contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced business lawyers.