When you’re launching a website, it’s extremely important to protect your business from the potential ambiguities. This is extremely important when it comes to your legal liability.
From various collaborations with business partners to relationships with clients, there are different legal matters for every business website. Since prevention is better than cure, it’s important to hedge yourself from the potential legal disputes.
In the rest of this post, you can read more about six major disclaimers for every SMB-website owner.
1) General Terms & Conditions
If we were forced to have only one disclaimer on our website, it would be Terms & Conditions. The supreme governor of all other disclaimers, this set of rules and regulations defines the relationship between your websites and its users.
Once your visitors click the OK button and comply with your Terms & Conditions, you’ve protected yourself from all the features cited under this disclaimer. As for the most important elements that this set should contain, it’s crucial to explicitly state that you forbid publishing any sort of abusive materials on your website.
Moreover, make sure to inform the visitors that their accounts will be deleted if they break these rules. What’s more, it’s important to specify that you’re the owner of all the content published on the websites. That will prevent the potential theft of your intellectual property.
Finally, make sure to express the governing law for any issues or disputes regarding Terms & Conditions. For instance, if you registered your business in the State of Nevada, then the local court will be in charge of these problems.
2) Return and Refund Policy
In the age of eCommerce, it’s imperative for every website owner to clearly state their Return and Refund Policy.
By doing that, you’ll avoid getting in trouble with unreasonable customers. You should bear in mind that such customers might remain dissatisfied with your service despite the disclaimer. However, at least you’ll protect yourself from the legal point of view.
Since customers are generally protected by law, you need to do your best to protect yourself, as well.
For starters, define when you accept returns and exchanges, as well as when you allow for refunds. In case you have some shipping fees for physical products, don’t forget to clearly state those fees. This refers both to purchase and returns.
Also, make sure to write down the period of time within which the buyers can return the products they purchase on your website.
What’s more, it’s important to state any additional requirements that a buyer should meet to get a refund or a new product.
All these things should be visible to your customers on your website all the time. That way, they’ll know all the rules of the game before they make a purchase.
Due to the rapid increase in the number of Internet users, the legal authorities have become more strict when it comes to privacy rules. For instance, the European Union has brought the controversial GDPR (EU General Data Protection Regulation). Some legal experts have expressed concerns regarding the freedoms that this law limits. However, the EU lawmakers were driven by the statement that the customer is king.
The term sensitive data refers to visitors’ personal names, credit card information, bank account numbers, email and physical addresses, and other confidential features. Once you define all the liabilities and hedges in this Agreement, you’ll protect yourself from potential legal issues.
However, it’s not enough only to put a disclaimer on your website and think that your job is done. You should actively work on keeping customers’ data safe on your website.
4) Clearly visible cookies
Every website leaves cookies in visitors’ browsers. A cookie is a piece of information through which websites save some useful information about their visitors. For instance, it can store your password so that you don’t have to sign in again every time when you go to that website.
Every website owner needs to decide where they want to place information about cookies. This position will depend on the website organization and user experience. For instance, some website owners place that pop-up window in the upper part of the website. Others opt for the bottom of the page or they simply put it on the left or right side.
Regardless of the position, you need to make sure that the visitors see this notification and click the OK button if they agree with it.
5) End-User License Agreement
Whenever a user wants to download a software solution or an application, they need to comply with the user license beforehand. Since every software is someone’s intellectual property, users should agree to this license to become eligible to use that very tool.
Each EULA has some specific demands and conditions under which it can be used. Only when the user accepts this agreement can he or she start downloading and using the software in question. Otherwise, the installation won’t be completed and they won’t be allowed to use the application.
Even if you offer some free apps or tools on your website, it’s important to demand from users to accept the EULA before they download those solutions. Although this agreement doesn’t impose legal obligations, it does ensure that the user understands the basic rules under which he or she can use the software.
By accepting the agreement, the user basically rents the license from the producer.
6) A website disclaimer
Last but not least, it’s essential for every website owner to include a Website Disclaimer in their website. The basic purpose of this disclaimer is to explicitly state the limitations and liabilities for both the website owner and the users.
For starters, the website disclaimer needs to explain that the content published on the website is the property of the owner and it requires their permission to be shared or used in any other way whatsoever.
Apart from that, it’s important to stress out that the users should obtain a license from the owner in case they want to use the website in any way that’s not specified. Also, the legal disclaimer needs to discuss the matters of defamation. The users need to know in advance the consequences of behaviors that break those rules.
Finally, the legal disclaimer should contain limited warranties so that the website owner isn’t held responsible for the downloaded of purchased items for good.
Every website has to contain a number of disclaimers. Without them, website owners would expose themselves to a wide range of potential disputes.
While you’re doing your best to provide relevant and informative content, it’s important to protect your business from any unreasonable complaints.
Together with the straightforward refund policy and privacy protection, you’ll establish a safe website that will protect all the interested parties.