How To Protect Your Ecommerce Site With A Terms Of Service Agreement

If you’ve got an ecommerce site, you need a Terms of Service Agreement.

A Terms Of Service Agreement essentially states the rules for using your website. While it’s not a legal requirement to have one on your site, it offers a lot of legal protection. A Terms of Service Agreement can limit your liability if you end up in court, something that happens a lot more frequently than you might think. Dropbox, for example, has been sued dozens of times.

You can find a ToS agreement on virtually every website at the bottom of the home page in the form of “Terms of Service,” Terms Of Use,” or “Conditions Of Use.” Once you click on the link, the page generally looks something like this one on Amazon.com and varies in size and content:

 

Amazon Conditions of Use

Amazon Conditions of Use

 

The contents of your Terms Of Service Agreement depends upon the nature of your website.

The four most common reasons for a ToS are to:

1. Prevent Abuse:

The TOS is a legally binding contract between your site and your users. This agreement sets the guidelines that users must agree to and follow in order to use and access your website or mobile app.

2. Protect your intellectual property:

Legally protect your logo, content, graphics, etc., from theft or misuse (except for user-generated content, generally any content created by users belongs to them).

 

Amazon Conditions of Use

Amazon Conditions of Use

3. Limited Liability:

This section, often titled, “Terms And Conditions,” tries to limit the website owner’s liability in cases where the services might have been used for unintended purposes. This kind of clause notifies users that the owner can’t be held responsible for any errors in the site, or unforeseen damages, or for the information provided being correct, comprehensive, or useful for any specific purposes.

4. Set The Governing Law:

Usually, the Governing Law clause of a Terms and Conditions section refers to the jurisdiction of the stated terms. The jurisdiction is determined by the city, and state (or country) of where your business is registered.

The Terms Of Service is a standard precaution to you legal protection in the case of misuse or discontent.

 

How to get a ToS for your site:

While all of this may sound like a tedious bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo, the good news is that with an online ToS generator, you don’t have to be a lawyer or even hire one to quickly have a ToS specifically tailored for your ecommerce site.

Don’t know where to start? Try A Terms of Service Generator.

Karen Schmidt

Journalist turned blogger about all things ecommerce, shopping, retail and cyber security.

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