How to generate terms & conditions for your website

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If you run a website, then having an online terms & conditions is a must.  What exactly is that?  Simply put, they are a set of guidelines & rules that a user must agree to in order to use a website or a mobile app.  Every website will need one, regardless of what your website is.  You want to protect yourself legally, but unless you are a lawyer yourself, creating one can be a bit daunting.  I’ve found the hardest part to be getting started.

Luckily, there are forms you can download that can help you get started.  You can download a template and then you can edit it and add on to it to fit your specific website.  A great thing about downloading a template is that if you wrote it yourself, you might forget about certain things but the template helps you remember specific rules & guidelines your website needs.  And remember, each terms & condition page will be different.  For example, one of the website I run is a job board website where employers purchase memberships, so I need to be specific on the terms & conditions page outlining that all my service does is help them find employers and they are responsible for vetting all employees and my company bears no responsibility for any legal problems that a new employee would cause that was found through my job website, etc.

So you might be wondering, where do you find one of these templates?  Where I got mine is Rocket Lawyer.  Rocket Lawyer provides tons of legal documents you can use your business, not just for terms & conditions, so it may have a lot of other documents you will need for your website or business.  In addition to legal documents, Rocket Lawyer also provide customers with a monthly membership free 30-minute consultations with a lawyer on each new matter (and how often can you talk to a lawyer for free?), affordable legal advice from an on call lawyer network, cloud storage for the legal documents and reduced rates for incorporating your business. You can get a free 7-day trial for their services, too, which allows you to not only get your terms & conditions for free, but allows you to check out all of their other services, too.

Another popular service I have used in the past is LegalZoom.  One big difference to me between LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer is that there is no free trial.  You can not sign up for a membership and pay a flat fee for an attorney-drafted terms & conditions page.  You can also just go ahead and become a member and schedule a consultation with an attorney.  Doing this can of course be a great option if you have a lot of questions about your specific website and you really want to make sure you’re completely covered.  LegalZoom will cost you, but it will be cheaper than hiring a lawyer and obviously cheaper than any legal fees you would incur if you don’t put terms & conditions in place and you were to be sued.

Of courses, Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom aren’t the only service you can turn to; here a few others:

  • Business in a Box: Business in a Box, like Rocket Lawyer, has lot of document template your business can use (1,800+ in fact!). Depending on the nature of your business, you may need all these documents and if you do, you can save a lot of money with Business in a Box.  Like Rocket Lawyer, you can do a free trial but unlike Rocket Lawyer, you won’t have a subscription option, but the one-time fee can be cheaper.   You can compare the legal documents found here with Rocket Lawyer yourself to see which one has the files you would most need.
  • Shopify: You can get a terms & conditions generator with Shopify during a 14-day trial; this is a great option if you’re already thinking about using Shopify, which is a great service to use if you want an easy way to start an online store.
  • WordPress Plugin: If your website uses WordPress, then you can use this plugin that you can customize for a website. The main advantage of this method is that it’s free.  The downside would be that since it is a plugin, it could conflict with your other plugins or slow down your website, but it is an option.