Terms, conditions, and policies: what they are and why your online store needs them
It’s true that terms and conditions and privacy policies are small print details, but they make a big impact in your ability to do business through your online store. Here’s what you need to know about them.
You will probably want terms and conditions
Also known as a Terms of Service Agreement, terms and conditions are recommended by not legally required in order to run an online business. Essentially, they are an outlined agreement between you and your customer and they can protect your business in a few ways.
Protection from abuse
In your agreement you should state the intended use of your online store and outline courses of actions you might take should you feel that a user is causing your online business harm by, for example, posting defamatory comments, installing malware, or other malicious behaviour.
When customers use your online store, they are agreeing to your terms and conditions and should they violate this agreement you can ban users as you see fit. You might even decide to include an account termination clause just in case.
Intellectual property protection
Your terms and conditions should also state that your ecommerce business’ name, logo, and other original content is your own and protected by international copyright laws. If you find copycats you will have some recourse and proof that your intellectual property is in fact yours.
Especially relevant for online stores selling inventory made by others, a warranty disclosure states that you as the store owner are not liable for any inaccuracies or misinformation presented in product pages or in the store as a whole.
Find more helpful articles in The ultimate guide to starting an online store.