How to Write Terms and Conditions in 2022 [Ultimate Guide]

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A lot of people don’t really know what terms and conditions are and more importantly, what they entail. Are they legally binding? Do you have to have them?

In this article, we’ll talk about terms and conditions in detail and show you how to write terms and conditions for your website.

What Is a Terms and Conditions Agreement?

Terms and conditions are the rules that govern how a company operates. They outline what services or products you’ll provide to customers. They also limit your liability for any losses suffered by either party due to breaches in the contract agreement. Think of this document as a contract between your company and your customers. It’s essentially a set of guidelines that they both agree to follow, and it helps protect both parties from any legal issues that may come up down the road.

DID YOU KNOW: You can easily generate personalized Terms and Conditions with a Terms of Use generator. It will help you create your T&C in just a few minutes.

Are Terms and Conditions Legally Binding?

When learning how to create Terms of Service agreement, the first thing you’ll want to know is whether Terms and Conditions are legally binding. Yes, T&C is a legally enforceable contract. This means that if either party fails to comply with the terms outlined in the document, they could be held liable in a court of law. It also means that if one party does not follow through on their part of the agreement, then they’re breaking contract law which could lead to legal action against them by other parties involved in the transaction (e.g. customers who have purchased products or services from your company).

Although you cannot know for sure whether the customer has read the terms and conditions on your site, you still need to provide them and leave it up to them whether they want to be informed or not. If you’re still figuring out how to write terms of service, remember that T&C must be:

  • Fair

The terms and conditions must be fair to both parties. They cannot be one-sided and must be beneficial to both the customer and the company.

  • Lawful

The terms and conditions must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. They cannot include any content that would be considered illegal or unlawful in your country, state, or province.

  • Agreed to

The terms and conditions must be agreed to by both parties. This means that the customer must have an opportunity to read and understand them before they agree to purchase anything from your company.

  • Clear

The terms and conditions must be clear and concise. They should not be too long or complicated and should use plain language that is easy to understand.

Key Takeaways

Terms and conditions are a must when getting your company off the ground.
T&C governs how a company operates and ensures equal rights for both parties.
Terms and conditions need to be fair, agreed-upon, lawful, clear, and concise.
T&Cs should be written in plain language so everyone can understand them.

How to Write Terms and Conditions

A Terms and Conditions page will be something that you need to create from scratch. This can take some time, but it’s worth the effort because it helps protect both parties in case anything goes wrong with the transaction.

There is no one-size-fits-all template, as the length of your terms and conditions will depend on your type of business and the products or services you offer. Try to keep them concise and easy to read, so people don’t get overwhelmed by all the legal jargon.

When writing the terms and conditions on your page you must adhere to some clauses. We will provide Terms and Conditions examples for each clause mentioned. The clauses are:

Introduction and Acceptance 

The first section of your terms and conditions should be an introduction. It should explain what they are, as well as how customers can accept them. This is especially important if there’s any kind of risk involved for both parties – such as if one side could potentially lose money from the agreement. In Forever21 the introductory clause is:

The Effective Date

The terms and conditions should state the effective date of when they were last updated or changed so customers are aware if there’s any new information in the agreement. This also helps protect against fraud because it shows how long ago permission for use was given (e.g. 30 days). At the end of their T&C Netflix gives the effective date:

TIP: A terms and conditions generator can help you write top-notch T&Cs for your company.

Jurisdiction

If a dispute were to arise, it’s important to know which country or state’s law the agreement falls under so legal proceedings can take place. You don’t want a situation where a customer is trying to resolve an issue in a court that doesn’t have jurisdiction over your company! Here’s an example from Hollister regarding the jurisdiction clause:

Privacy Policy

When writing terms of service, it’s also very important to include details about how a company uses their customers’ personal information (e.g. whether it will be sold to third parties).

If you launch a company in the European Union you comply with the GDPR privacy policy. In this case, there should be an explanation of how user privacy is protected by law and what measures are being put in place to make sure that customers’ personal data is kept confidential. For instance, Twitter explains its privacy policy terms:

Intellectual Property 

With a Terms and Conditions generator, you can create an intellectual property clause that will explicitly state your intellectual property rights and explain the company’s trademark infringement policy. This section should specify who owns the intellectual property rights to any content on your website. For example, if you’re using images from another website in your blog posts, it may have copyright protection over these pictures and could take legal action against someone else for reproducing the copyrighted material without permission. Business Insider uses this clause in their T&C:

Contact Information

When writing terms of service, including your business contact information at the bottom of the document in case someone has any questions or needs to get in touch. You can also list an email address and/or mailing address for customers to use. Forever21 mentions their contact information at the bottom of the page:

Disclaimers and Limitation of Liability

A disclaimer is a statement that limits or excludes the liability of your business for certain things. For example, if you run an online store and one of your products causes damage to someone’s property because it wasn’t properly manufactured, this would be covered under product liability laws. In this clause, a sentence that explains services “as is”, is needed. Disclaimers are often used by businesses who want to limit their risk while still providing services/products to customers. Here’s an example of a disclaimer from Business Insider:

 

DID YOU KNOW: If you plan on creating a webpage and you’ve gone through the launch checklist, the next step is to attract people to your page. That’s why it’s mandatory to write the Terms and Conditions, and they must contain a privacy policy clause so that the people visiting your site know their rights. 

User Restrictions

Another thing when learning how to write terms of service is to pay attention to the user restrictions clause. This section can be used to list any restrictions that a customer needs to agree to before using your services. This might include:

  • age restrictions
  • ban on using the service for illegal activities
  • not sharing account details with other people

For instance, Netflix’s Terms and Conditions state:

Termination Clause

This section specifies the conditions that must be met in order for either party to terminate the agreement. In some cases, the site has the right to disable user accounts. This could be, for example, if a customer doesn’t pay their bill on time or violates your terms and conditions. Twitter uses the following termination clause, explaining when they can terminate accounts:

T&Cs for Third Parties

If you’re working with a third party to provide services for your customers, it’s important to have a separate agreement in place that covers their responsibilities as well. This helps protect both you and the customer in case something goes wrong with the service. Out of the many Terms and Conditions examples, we’ve chosen the clause from Law Insider as a great example:

DID YOU KNOW: There is no legal difference between terms of service and terms of use, and they are often used interchangeably.

Notification of Changes

Any changes made to the terms and conditions should be highlighted in this section so customers are always aware of what’s been updated. This could include anything from a change in the effective date to added new clauses. Business Insider uses this clause:

Returns and Exchanges

If your company deals with the delivery of products, you need to know how to create terms of service agreement that includes returns and exchange clauses. This section should list the conditions that need to be met in order for a customer to return or exchange a product/service. This might include:

  • having the original receipt
  • asking for a return within a certain time frame after the purchase

Forever21 describes its return policy for online purchases in a few steps:

Subscription Information

It’s important for customers to know what they’re getting when signing up for a service or product. This clause should include details about:

  • how much does the service cost per month
  • what features are included with each plan
  • any other information that might be relevant (such as free trials)

HubSpot is a perfect example of how to manage your subscription clause:

Payment Terms

Now that you know what are terms and conditions, let’s take a look at payment terms. Payment terms are another clause that must be included in T&C. This specifies how long after the date of purchase customers have to pay for the product or service they’ve received. It should also list any late payment fees that will apply if the payment is not received within the specified time frame. FreelanceCopyWriter includes the following payment terms in its T&C:

Delivery and Shipping Information 

If you’re selling products online, then it’s important to have a section where customers can find out how long they’ll have to wait before receiving their order in the mail. It might also include details about what happens if an order gets lost during transit or other issues that could arise. Once again we took an example from the FreelanceCopyWriter:

DID YOU KNOW: Facebook, the world’s leading social media platform, can use all your personal information and photos even if you delete your account. 

Conclusion

Writing terms and conditions can seem daunting, but it’s an important way to protect your business and ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities. By following these tips, you can create a document that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

FAQ

What are terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions are the terms on which a business offers its products or services. They outline what will happen if something goes wrong during the transaction process, how long it takes for delivery, etc.

Why should I use terms and conditions?

When learning how to write terms and conditions, first you need to know why it is important to use them. Terms and conditions are important as they protect both you (the business owner) and your customers. They set out the customer’s rights when purchasing products or services from your company’s website and outline what will happen if there’s some problem during the transaction process.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I’m an entrepreneur by profession and an artist by passion. I do business to pay the bills and make music to bring the thrills. Thanks to a bachelor in Business Administration, I'm well-versed in all things business. Owning a construction company certainly helps, too, but it also brings out my love for building and home protection.

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