If you are running a small business, you probably already have a website or are thinking of creating one soon. Your website provides a simple and easy way to communicate with your customers about your business and what value you can offer. But your website can offer risks too, unless you have proper terms and conditions of use (“Terms & Conditions”) which visitors must adhere to and which restrict your liability.
For instance, what happens if a competitor takes content from your website, your blog or tries to take your ideas? What is your liability if someone relies on something they have seen on your website and they suffer loss or harm as a result?
Managing website risks
A good way of managing these risks is to include a page setting out Terms & Conditions that visitors must agree to when visiting your website. This will also enable you limit your liability to the extent the law permits, protect your intellectual property and enhance your customer’s expectations.
Under Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”), if you are selling goods and / or services through your website, you are required to clearly set out your business’ service standards on your website. These may include your delivery standards, protections under the ACL, privacy and the use of any customer data that you collect, payment terms and conditions (including refunds), liability for harm that website visitors may suffer, etc.
There are a few websites that provide you with free templates to create generic Terms & Conditions. While these free templates are a good starting point for a basic set of Terms & Conditions, often these templates are very generic and may not satisfy your individual needs as there is no customised drafting to suit your business or the laws in your specific geographic location.
Contact us for some advice
If you are running a business with a website, contact us for an obligation free discussion on how we can help you limit your liability and make your website more compliant.