Legal things YOUR business NEEDS! Today: Legals for your website

Written by  //  March 7, 2016  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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How are you going with the legal-side of running your business? Never thought about it? Not sure what you need? Anxious about investigating in case it costs too much? Hoping you can get by without it? If you’re a bit of an Ostrich when it comes to the legal stuff here’s a short three part series on legal things YOU NEED!

None of this legal stuff needs to cost you much to put together, but, gosh, if you don’t have it you could be up for a LOT of anxiety and money in the future.

Today we’ll look at the three legal documents you need to have in place for your WEBSITE.

Ready?! Here goes:

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The three legal documents you need to have in place for your WEBSITE

Every business (even the smallest solo business) needs to display their ‘Terms of Conditions’, ‘Terms of Use’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ on their website. These online documents are important in protecting your business, as well as keeping you in line with the requirements of privacy, consumer and online law. (Note: If you are reading this and you are not based in Australia, the same principles apply everywhere so do read on!)

1.Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions are a contract between your business and your customers. They allow your business to protect its liability and obligations. For example, Terms and Conditions will cover payment terms, warranties, credit limits and product delivery. Your business should have Terms and Conditions drafted for YOUR business (in other words, not copied from someone else’s business!) and you need to issue them before each transaction with a customer.  In many cases, it’s not necessary for the customer to actually sign the document. For instance, the customer may agree to the Terms and Conditions by making a payment or accepting a service. More on Terms and Conditions in next time’s blog post.

2.Website Terms of Use

Website Terms of Use (or Terms of Service) form a contractual relationship between you and any visitors to your website. This online document sets out a number of important clauses such as how website visitors can use your website, the types of conduct that are prohibited and a liability disclaimer. You might need to get the person who helps with the technical aspects of your website to talk to your lawyers too, as when preparing the Terms of Use you’ll need to be able to explain stuff like how data and cookies are stored on your website and how online transactions are made.

3.Privacy Policy

A Privacy Policy is a document that sets out what personal information you collect and how you use it, including if the information is disclosed to third parties. Now, lots of us won’t legally need a Privacy Policy as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) only applies if a business has an annual turnover of more than $3 million (wishful thinking, yes?!) or if you are a business trading in personal information or a health service provider, or a business that is related to another business that is covered by the Privacy Act 1988.

BUT, even if the Privacy Act does not apply to your business, it is good business practice to have a policy in place so that your customers and clients are clear on what information you are collecting on your website. Understanding the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) is also important, particularly the ability for customers to access their personal information and how personal information is stored. As a business owner, you should know where your data is located, and whether it is on a server in Australia, or overseas.

Most of you will collect online information when website visitors purchase products, complete surveys or download documents so you should clearly set out how this collected information will be used, and you should also understand your obligations under the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). For example, do you obtain consent from the recipient to send email communications? Does the email identify the business sending the communication? Is there an option to unsubscribe? You must adhere to these privacy and spam obligations if your business has an online presence.

Key Points

If you have a website  you need to make sure you have your Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Terms of Use displayed on it. Although it’s tempting, please don’t copy another website’s Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions or Terms of Use, because you need your documents to be tailored to the specific needs of your business. Don’t be an Ostrich, because these legal documents are actually designed to protect YOU!

Right! Because these legal documents are SO IMPORTANT, and I’d really like you to get on top of them,  I’ve organised a special DISCOUNT for you with LegalVision lawyers.  LegalVision aren’t your usual Law Firm: they charge Fixed Fees, they are famous for their affordable pricing and have the loveliest lawyers you will ever meet!  LegalVision usually charge at least $990 (ex GST) to draft Privacy Policy and Website Terms but they will do yours for just $495 (ex GST).

To get your special rate just go to this special Business Bakery page on the LegalVision website. And do it now before your forget!


Next time: BUSINESS Terms and Conditions. These are different to Website Terms of use so check back in on Wednesday to read all about this super- important legal document.

The Legal information in this blog post was provided by the awesome Ursula Hogben of LegalVision, who I have known for many years. You’d love her!

Ursula is General Counsel at LegalVision. She has over 15 years’ local and international investment banking and corporate law experience. Ursula has expertise in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, information technology and general corporate law. Ursula is an active member of Australia’s entrepreneur community and speaks, writes and is interviewed on issues relevant to startups and established businesses.


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