What legal protection do you need when starting a business online?
Selling your products and services is obviously an important part of every business. You do the work, you want to get paid.
So, you need terms and conditions tailored for your online business and delivering services virtually. Your documents and processes should be optimised for online…
✓ Easy to read
✓ Easy to sign
✓ Easy to understand
✓ Easy to explain
You want legal terms that are balanced to protect your business, without putting off clients or getting on the wrong side of the law.
What are the risks and rules of selling online?
If you have an online store or deliver services online, you need to think about risks and rules for clients differently than with a physical store or place of business.
If you have an online store, you might want to sell both physical and digital products.
Selling digital products can have their own set of problems. Just like physical products, when you’re selling digital products, you need to think about consumer laws in relation to those products and services, as well as risks such as theft, copyright, refunds, and guarantees.
This could involve getting specific rules and license terms in place on what someone can do with your digital products once they have bought and downloaded them.
You should always think about putting your own rules and conditions in place for your business. Not only does this make it clearer for clients to know what to expect when they are working with you, it gives you so much more confidence in the day to day running of your business.
What are business terms?
Your business terms are the heart of your business. They are your bread and butter. They are the rules of the road on how you work with your clients.For more on why Business Terms are so important, you can read our article about whether you should copy your business terms from another business website.
Refunds, cancellations and early termination charges
If you charge clients upfront for a service that’s delivered over time, what happens if they want to cancel part way through? What if clients arrive late or don’t show up at all?
No shows or late arrivals, clients changing and cancelling appointments can be a real time waste for health and wellness professionals – whether you are offering physical services in your salon and studio, or online services via video or phone conference.
Each client who cancels at the last minute or does not show up can eat into your profit margin. Making it clear upfront for your clients on the expectations for changing appointments can give you more confidence within your business and reduce a lot of hassles down the track.
That’s why it’s really helpful to create a clear, friendly, readable and balanced refund policy and cancellation policy and make it easy to find for your clients.
As the world changes quickly, it’s important to change with it.
Website terms and conditions
It’s awesome that you have a website (seriously, well done, I know firsthand how tricky it can be to set up your online presence yourself and stress about getting the right theme,security and content, so nice work).
Now you have a website, what are the rules which people should follow when they interact with you online or on your site?
Can people take and use the images and content you post, or is that not allowed?
Is it okay for people to scrape data from your website or post abusive or offensive material?
Hopefully… the answer is no!
How are website terms different from my business terms?
Great question! Your website terms and business terms might be one and the same. But depending on your business, it can be a good idea to have terms for your website that are separate to your business terms.
Website terms are the terms and conditions which apply to users when they use and access your website. When visitors go to your website, the website terms make it clear what the rules are in relation to using your website content and interacting with you and other site visitors. And this could extend out to any social media communities that your business runs.
If you had a physical shop front, and someone came along and started stealing things from your physical business, you would have several options on how to proceed. In the online world, it can be harder to enforce theft or bad behaviour so having clear terms and conditions can help you enforce your rights promptly!
Common things to see in website terms include:
- Not stealing or using content (words or images) without owner’s permission
- That users can’t scrape your website for data
- User can’t upload malicious materials or bots
On-boarding and client intake processes
When you sign up clients or your customers buy from you… what terms and conditions apply?
When is the contract formed?
What terms and conditions apply to that contract?
Can you incorporate terms by referring to them?
Should all your products and services (online and physical) have the same conditions?
We can help!
We love looking at online sign up processes and digital intake to find efficient, effective ways to on-board your clients. This means you can have the right terms and conditions in place at the right time. This gives you more confidence in your business processes and a smooth, professional on-boarding process for your clients.
Click the link below to book in a free no obligation chat with one of our lawyers to discuss how we can help you.