Website Terms of Use

A Website Terms of Use is a legal agreement that details what rules a user must abide by when using your website or online service.

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It’s no secret that cybersecurity is essential for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and this extends to your website policies. While your website serves as a great way to increase engagement among existing and potential customers, it also comes with its own legal hazards.

With a Website Terms of Use displayed on your site, you can minimize potential liabilities, safeguard your content, and prevent online abuse.

What Is a Website Terms of Use?

A Website Terms of Use is a defined list of rules that users must agree to when using your website. It often includes disclaimers, warranties, and notices that detail the business’s limitation of liability, permitted use, copyright, privacy policy, and the country and state’s governing laws.

Other Names for Website Terms of Use

A Website Terms of Use may also be known as:

  • TOU
  • Terms of Service (TOS)
  • Terms and Conditions (T&C)
  • User Agreement
  • Disclaimer
  • Statement of Rights and Responsibilities

Who Needs a Website Terms of Use?

Although a Website Terms of Use is not required by law, every website should consider having one, especially e-commerce or service providers. It not only helps to protect the company, but it helps users understand guidelines on how they should conduct themselves.

At its most basic level, a Website Terms of Use often includes a disclaimer that removes any liability if your website content has any errors or omissions. If you allow user accounts or user-generated content, you can also include disclaimers that remove any liability from statements made by other parties, including offensive content.

If you own a copyright or any other intellectual property rights, such as trademarks or patents, a Website Terms of Use allows you to display a notice on your website to reduce the chances of infringement. It also indicates the governing laws of the state or country your website operates under, adding additional protection.

While a Terms of Use is not legally required for your website, a Privacy Policy is. A Privacy Policy is a document that outlines how you will use and safeguard user data. You can include it as a section within your Website Terms of Use or link to a dedicated Privacy Policy page in the TOU.

Why Use 360 Legal Forms for Your Terms of Use?

Customized for You, by You

Create your own documents by answering our easy-to-understand questionnaires to get exactly what you need out of your Website Terms of Use.

Specific to Your Jurisdiction

Laws vary by location. Each document on 360 Legal Forms is customized for your state.

Fast and Easy

All you have to do is fill out a simple questionnaire, print, and sign. No printer? No worries. You and other parties can even sign online.

How to Create a Terms of Use With 360 Legal Forms

A Website Terms of Use should be customized for each business based on its unique disclaimers and notices. If you’re considering drafting your own, you want to ensure your policy covers all the necessary guidelines to protect your company.

Let 360 Legal Forms help with our extensive library of attorney-vetted legal forms. The process is fast and easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy-to-understand questionnaire. Once complete, simply download your form as a PDF or Word document from your secure online account.

What Information Will I Need to Create My Terms of Use?

To create your document, please provide:

  • Personal Information: Fill out your name and address.
  • Website Information: Fill out your website name, domain, and type.
  • Contact Information: Include your business phone, email, mailing address, or fax number.
  • Privacy Policy: Add your privacy policy address, if applicable. 
  • Designated Copyright Agent: Choose to include a designated copyright agent’s contact information to qualify for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor for copyright infringement liability.
  • Sales: Include subscription and refund policies, where applicable. 
  • Third Parties: Disclose whether your website contains any links or advertisements for third-party websites.
  • Security: Indicate if you’d like to have a minimum user age or prohibit any user content. 
  • Governing Law: Select the state that governs the outlined terms and conditions.
  • Dispute Resolution: Indicate your preferred method, venue, and payment for potential legal disputes. 
  • Effective Date: Choose the date the document goes into effect.

Terms of Use Terms

  • Intellectual Property: Includes trademarks, copyrights, and patents
  • Copyright Infringement: When copyrighted material is sold, copied, distributed, or performed without the copyright owner’s permission.
  • Limitations on Liability: An included statement that limits the damages a company can be exposed to in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Indemnity: A clause that protects one party from risks or liabilities created by another. 
  • Severability: A clause that keeps the remaining portions of a contract in force if a court considers one or more parts invalid.

Terms of Use Signing Requirements 

There are no signing requirements when creating a Website Terms of Use, and you don’t need a witness or notary public present. The most critical part is ensuring all necessary disclaimers and notices that apply to your business are included.

What to Do With Your Terms of Use 

Once you have a customized Website Terms of Use, you’re ready to upload it to your website. Create a separate page to house your policy, and then add a link on your home page or any other relevant pages to connect it. This is called a browsewrap agreement.

If you want to ensure users see your Website Terms of Use, you could add a clickwrap agreement by prompting readers to read and agree to your policy before entering your website, creating an account, or buying your product or service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many businesses link their privacy policy to their Website Terms of Use, but these documents are different. While a Terms of Use outlines the rules and guidelines a user must follow when using your website, a privacy policy is a mandatory document that informs users about data collection policies. It typically outlines the process of collecting user data and any security measures to safeguard it. 

A Website Terms of Use adds an extra level of protection to your business website and can become legally binding if it meets certain elements, such as making users accept the terms by checking a box. If you want to ensure your terms are legally binding, it’s a good idea to get legal advice from a lawyer.

While it seems like most websites have a Terms of Use section, there are no U.S. federal laws that require websites to have one. However, depending on your business, transactions, or services, there may be other mandatory disclosures.

There’s no legal requirement to have and display a Website Terms of Use, but it can come in handy. Without one, users might abuse your website or content, and you can’t set guidelines or expectations regarding payment options or purchasing behavior for your goods or services. You also risk users stealing your intellectual property and opening your business to more liability.

While it might seem like all websites have the same Terms of Use, a website owner cannot copy and paste one on their own. A Website Terms of Use needs to be unique and customized for every business, or you risk legal implications, such as copyright infringement.

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Applicable to all 50 states
Applicable to all 50 states

Our documents are vetted by lawyers and are applicable to all 50 states.