As a small business owner, there are a number of items you’ll need to ensure a long and successful life for your business. If you’re planning to sell a product or service online, one of the things you’ll need to have in place is a terms and conditions agreement or T&C.
Terms and conditions for small businesses act as an agreement between your business and your customers. It sets the expectations of both parties and details the outcome if those expectations aren’t met. Terms and conditions are considered a legal agreement between the two parties, making it a type of business contract.
Terms and conditions are most often used by businesses that offer:
A Software as a Service (SaaS) product
Essentially any business that sells goods or services to customers can benefit from having and posting a terms and conditions agreement.
In this article, you’ll learn about what to include in your terms and conditions agreement, where to find examples of terms and conditions and how to use a small business terms and conditions template to get started.
The Importance of Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions set out the rules and expectations of the relationship between a business and its customers. Because the agreement forms a written understanding between two parties, it helps to eliminate problems and to lower the chance of unmet expectations. It also lays out the procedure for remedying any problems, which can lessen the risk of lawsuits. Terms and conditions protect your small business.
How Do Small Businesses Create Terms and Conditions?
Creating terms and conditions for your small business is a simple process, with a couple of sticky points where you’ll need to be comfortable reading the fine print and dealing with details. Here’s how you can get started creating terms and conditions for your small business.
1. Find an Example Form
Online, you’ll find a number of websites that offer examples of terms and conditions for small businesses. To find a small business terms and conditions template, simply search the phrase “terms and conditions generator” and look for a service, such as Incfile, that offers a template in your price range.
2. Customize It for Your Small Business
Once you’ve got a terms and conditions template that works for your business, then it’s time to customize it. This is where you’ll want to be very detail-oriented and focused. Not all terms and conditions are created equally, so you’ll want to read through each piece and make sure you understand it and how it applies to your business. If something doesn’t fit, you’ll want to customize it.
To help you along in the process, consider some of your worst customers or the worst situation you can imagine. Your terms and conditions should protect your business under those circumstances.
3. Make It Readable
Terms and conditions are part of the fine print of most websites. And while it’s not broadcast in bold type on your website, that doesn’t mean it should be illegible. It’s important that your terms and conditions are in a readable size font, uses paragraphs to break up the text and is written in an understandable sentence structure and grammar. Avoid legal jargon as much as possible.
4. Have a Lawyer Review Your Terms and Conditions
Your terms and conditions for your small business constitute a legal agreement between you and your customers. As such, you want to make sure it will hold up in court and that all your bases are covered.
While you can have a lawyer create a completely new and unique set of terms and conditions for your business, this will be very expensive. To save a little money, you can follow this process and then have a lawyer review your terms and conditions. Having a lawyer the terms and conditions that you’ve customized for your business from a template will be more cost-effective than having them write it from scratch.
If you don’t already have a lawyer for your business, you can find legal services online that are affordable and sufficient for this task.
If you use Incfile's Business Contract Library, our documents are already written and approved by specialized business attorneys, so you can be confident they will meet all your legal requirements.
5. Post Your Terms and Conditions
Once your terms and conditions have been customized by you and reviewed by a lawyer, it’s time to get them posted. You’ll need to post your terms and conditions clearly and visibly on your website for them to be enforceable. Many companies post a link to their terms and conditions in the footer of their website so it’s easy for customers to find and review.
FAQs About Small Business Terms and Conditions
Do Terms and Conditions Hold Up in Court?
Terms and conditions constitute a legally binding agreement. With a few caveats. You must:
Build a T&C agreement that is reasonable.
Obtain acceptance from your customer.
Ensure the agreement is communicated clearly.
To show customer agreement, most companies use a “clickwrap” or “browsewrap.” A clickwrap prompt is a pop-up that users must click to acknowledge they have read and agree to your terms and conditions. A browsewrap is a clause included in your terms and conditions that states that a user agrees to your terms and conditions by browsing your website.
What Happens When There Is No Contract?
Since your terms and conditions act as a legally binding agreement between you and your customers, there is no need for a further contract. If you’re entering into a different type of sales relationship with a customer, then a different contract may be necessary.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Write Your Terms and Conditions?
You don’t need a lawyer to write your terms and conditions. There are a number of examples of terms and conditions for small businesses that can be found online and customized to your business and purposes. While you don’t have to use a lawyer, you can. It can be especially helpful and affordable to have a lawyer review your terms and conditions after you’ve created them.
Where Can I Find Templates for Terms and Conditions?
To find a small business terms and conditions template, you can simply Google “terms and conditions generator” and choose a company that fits your budget and style.
How Often Do I Need to Revise My Terms and Conditions?
Since your terms and conditions form a legally binding agreement, you only need to update them when something substantial changes. Each time your update your terms and conditions, you’ll need to have them reviewed by a lawyer, so you’ll want to make changes as few times as possible.
Are Terms and Conditions a Legal Requirement?
Terms and conditions aren’t required by law. While they aren’t required, they’re a good idea for businesses that operate mostly online. Terms and conditions create an agreement between you and your customers and act as a form of protection for your business.
While terms and conditions aren’t a legal requirement for your business, they can provide you with a lot of peace of mind and protect your business in the instance that a customer becomes unhappy. If you’re looking for help in creating terms and conditions for your small business, be sure to check out our Business Contract Library, where you’ll find samples and templates for all your business contract needs.
Page is a freelance content marketing writer with experience writing about small business, the future of the workplace and health. She also operates a weekly email newsletter where she shares advice on living an authentic, intentional life. When not writing, you can find Page traveling, fostering older cats and working as a sexual assault advocate.