• Website Terms – These terms sets out the rules for all visitors using your website. It helps to protect your website. It includes what users can do, what is prohibited and includes a disclaimer to limit your liability when they access your website.
  • Sales/Business Terms and Conditions – This document is between you and each purchaser/customer/client. It addresses consumer law requirements and helps to protect your business.
  • Privacy Policy – As required by the Australian Privacy Principles, your business must have a privacy policy to state how a business will deal with and store personal information.

Legal Documents for Websites

Your Website Terms, Sales/Business Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are important legal documents that not only inform your website visitors of their rights and obligations, but also fulfil your online legal obligations. These online documents protect your website and business, including intellectual property. If you use or collect personal information, a Privacy Policy ensures compliance with the Privacy Act. Moreover, if you provide goods or services, Terms and Conditions clarify your business’ rights with the Australian Consumer Law.

Your Website Terms and Privacy Policy apply to every customer and visitor on your website.

If you offer goods or services, Sales/Business Terms and Conditions are required by law. For your Terms and Conditions, the 5 key aspects are:

  1. Description of products or services, and how these will be delivered, for clarity and certainty;
  2. Payment terms, including the right to charge interest and use a debt collector and/or a solicitor to enforce payment;
  3. The mandatory consumer guarantees and your refund policy;
  4. Dispute resolution to help you resolve disputes and avoid the cost and uncertainty of going to court; and
  5. Disclaimers and limitations on your liability, to protect your interests.

A Privacy Policy is key tool in meeting the Australian Privacy Principles. It ensures compliance and manages personal information in an open and transparent way. It must set out the topics the privacy policy will cover, and state the practices, procedures and systems that an APP entity must implement to ensure it complies with the APPs.

Key Issues

  • All three legal documents must be written specifically for the business or operation. Whilst it is tempting to copy from another website, this is a breach of copyright, and could you up in hot water if you face a breach of privacy law or Australian consumer law.
  • You should seek input from relevant areas of your entity when drafting these documents.
  • For large or complex entities, consider whether you need to have more than one policy (for different parts of your operation or business, or different functions or activities)

Business Terms and Conditions

There are 3 key types of online business. The Terms and Conditions they require are as follows:

Service Business – Client Agreement

If your business sells services then you need a Client Agreement. Your Client Agreement sets out the services that you provide, how you will provide them, and your and your client’s obligations. For example, if you design websites, your client must provide website copy and images in a timely manner. If disputes arise, you can refer customers to your Client Agreement to help you resolve disputes. This saves money and time, to focus on your business.

Shop/Ecommerce – Sales Terms and Conditions

Sales Terms and Conditions set out the information that you need to provide, and that customers seek, when they buy products from you. This includes delivery, refund and exchange policy, limiting liability and compliance with the Australian Consumer Law. Well-drafted Sales Terms and Conditions can make the difference between clients not paying or raising disputes, compared to you resolving a problem quickly and simply.

Marketplace – Marketplace Terms and Conditions

There are an increasing number of innovative websites for people to meet online to buy and sell products and services. Marketplaces need comprehensive terms and conditions that address the issues set out above, and additional issues including users providing correct information to the site, user content, intellectual property, the legal relationships between the parties, your obligations, and users upholding their obligations.

Website Terms

If your business has a website, you will need terms of use to inform the users of your website how they can and cannot act. As your website contains vital intellectual property, this can be protected with a Website Terms. Your business can be liable for your website – this needs to be addressed through a Website Terms.. Through this legal document, it claims copyright over your work, protects your website intellectual property and limits your liability. They set out permissible and prohibited conduct, including excluding competitors.

Privacy Policy

If your website collects and/or uses personal information, you will need a Privacy Policy. Your Privacy Policy needs to address the personal information that you collect, how you use and disclose this information, and how you store it. It sets out client rights to contact you, unsubscribe and complain. There are sizeable fines for breaching the Privacy Act, so it is important to comply. If you plan on sending promotional material to users, it is a good idea to let them know that they will be added to your mailing lists to prevent breaching any spamming legislation and to maintain a high degree of customer service.

Frequently Asked Questions about Website Legal Documents

Q: What is a website disclaimer?
A: A website disclaimer is different to the general website terms and conditions as a disclaimer relates only to legal liability. Moreover, you should write a website disclaimer which specifies the limitations on your liability when problems arise.

Q: What is an Acceptable Use Policy?
A: This policy contains a set of rules applied by a business that restricts the ways in which users can use a network, website or system. It generally contains information security policies.

How can LegalVision help me?

LegalVision provides businesses and individuals with tailored online legal advice, including drafting online legal documents for websites including Privacy Policies, Terms of Use and Terms and Conditions. We have experienced business lawyers who will ensure your website is complying with legislative requirements. Call LegalVision on 1300 544 755.

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