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5 Business Website Disclosures And Disclaimers

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

website disclosures and disclaimersWhether they’re part of your “Privacy Policy” and “Terms of Use,” or a separate legal document, you should include website disclosures and disclaimers to provide transparency to visitors plus reduce your potential legal liability.

There is no one-size-fits-all set of website legal documents because the content of each site is different. For example, a website that sells children’s clothing will need different legal language than a site that sells nutritional supplements to retirees. One site may require an affiliate program agreement while another does not.

Related Article: Privacy Policy? What Website Legal Documents Do You Really Need?

However, here are five of the common types of disclosures and disclaimers you’ll see on websites.

1. Material Connection Disclosures.

In essence, a material connection is the connection to a product or service being promoted on a site. Whether you’re the site owner, or an author whose article is posted on someone else’s site, you need to disclose material connections so that consumers can make an informed decision when purchasing the recommended products and services.

Perhaps the most well-known example of a material connection is affiliate status. If you’re promoting as an affiliate in exchange for compensation on sales made, you should disclose that fact. Bloggers frequently fail to do this and it can lead to government investigations and lawsuits.

Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

Another material connection is your relationship to the person selling the product or service. If you’re promoting because of friendship with the vendor, or because you have agreed to cross-promote to each other’s audiences, those can be material connections that a potential client should know about in order to have key facts needed to make an informed purchasing decision.

2. Age Disclaimers.

If your website isn’t for minors, particularly children under the age of 13, you should make that clear on your site. There are additional legal requirements for sites that target children. Don’t assume it’s obvious that your site isn’t for kids. Make it clear with age disclaimers.

Of course, if your website contains adult sexual content, you’re going to need additional disclosures and disclaimers that most sites don’t have.

3. Health Disclaimers.

If you’re selling anything that’s health related – from nutritional supplements to a diet eBook – it’s important to include health disclaimers to limit your potential liability. You want to make it clear that you’re not giving medical advice and that medical issues should be handled by an appropriate medical professional instead of relying upon your website’s content, products, and/or services as a substitute.

4. Earnings Disclaimers.

When your website sells anything related to finances, including make money online (MMO) opportunities, you should reduce your legal risks by using earnings disclaimers that make it clear that you’re not promising website visitors or clients will make a certain amount of money, or any money for that matter.

Note that business opportunity (biz opp) websites typically have additional disclosure requirements.

5. Warranty Disclaimers And Limitations.

To reduce legal risks, you may want to disclaim and/or limit warranties for products and services you sell on your site. For example, you may wish to disclaim that a widget you sell is fit for a particular purpose or limit a warranty period (e.g. a one-year warranty).

It’s important to remember that website disclosures and disclaimers reduce, but do not eliminate legal liability exposure. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may ignore such disclosures and disclaimers when determining whether your site violates federal consumer protection laws. However, other government agencies (and courts in lawsuits) may consider such legal language as a positive factor in your favor.

Related Article: Do Your Website Legal Documents Give You Ownership Of Submitted Content?

One thing is certain – it’s better to properly disclose and disclaim than attempt to pull a fast one on the public by failing to do so. This includes making sure your website’s disclosures and disclaimers are easily accessible (no small/hidden links), easy to read (avoid tiny fonts), and provide all the key information a prospective client would want to know before buying a product or service from your site.

Where To Get Website Disclosures And Disclaimers

Your company’s Internet lawyer can prepare a customized set of website disclosures and disclaimers as well as your website’s other legal documents. Be sure to check out our firm’s flat fee Website Legal Protection Package.

How to Get Professional Website Legal Documents to Protect Your Business

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

website legal documents protectionDid you know that most Internet business owners are frustrated because they can’t keep up-to-date on Internet laws, don’t know if they are breaking the law, and are afraid of getting sued because of their websites?

Internet Lawyer Mike Young can prepare the right legal documents to protect your website.

Based on the results of a Professional Website Legal Diagnostic, Mike can prepare the right privacy policies, terms of use, and other website legal documents to reduce your risk of getting sued because of your ecommerce activities.

What type of legal documents does your website need?

The answer to this question depends upon the nature of your e-commerce company, including the types of products and/or services you’re offering for sale.

Mike frequently prepares the following types of docs for clients’ sites:

  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Terms of Service
  • Anti-Spam Policy
  • External Links Policy
  • Earnings Disclaimers
  • Affiliate Program Agreement
  • Affiliate Material Connections Disclosure
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Notice
  • Health Disclaimers
  • Refund Policy
  • Returns Policy
  • Customer Satisfaction Policy
  • Membership Website Agreement
  • Listing Services Agreement
  • Hosting Terms of Service

Some sites will only require 2-3 legal documents for protection. Others need more.

How do you get Mike to prepare your website’s privacy policy and other important legal documents?

If you want to protect your company website,* it’s time to (1) set up a telephone appointment with Mike or (2) you can start by getting your website professionally analyzed by Mike.

* Mike will not review websites or prepare legal documents for websites involving publicly traded companies and/or alternative “cures” for medical problems.

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Website Terms Of Service

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

website terms of service

What are terms of service?

Website terms of service, also known as “terms of use” and “terms and conditions of use,” are typically the rules a website’s visitors must agree that they will follow in order to make use of the website, plus disclaimers limiting the potential liabilities of the owners of the website business in question.

Why have these terms on your site?

A well-written set of terms of service will be legally binding and at the same time can be updated over time if the need arises because of changes in the law or site content.

What typically goes into a set of terms of service?

Your site’s terms may provide a list of definitions for key terms while also explaining the website’s rules and policies and how they apply to users of the website. This most commonly is done in the form of a listing of the services and goods provided and a breakdown of any fees associated with these products and services.

Having a good set of terms of use is important for the attraction of clients and because of the legal protections they can provide.

Potential clients put a lot end to put a lot of stock in a well written set of terms because they make it clear to just how they will benefit from the web service and what that benefit is going to cost them.

Companies that post terms and conditions to their websites benefit from the certainty their clients feel when visiting a site with a well written set of terms. However, they also will benefit from their terms of service because they can be written with disclaimers and other protective shield language to offer a fair amount of protection as website owners.

How do you get your own set of terms of service?

Does your bursiness need a terms of service document put together for your website? Internet Lawyer Mike Young has been helping businesses by preparing their terms of service and other website legal documents since the mid-1990s. To get new terms or service or have your existing terms reviewed, set up a telephone consultation with Attorney Young.

Privacy Policy Changes And Terms of Service Updates

By Internet Lawyer

Website attorney updatesYour website attorney probably gets asked this question a lot. When you’re updating your website’s terms of service (a.k.a. terms of use, terms and conditions of use) or privacy policy, how do you let your website visitors and clients know about it?

For those who have opted into one of your email lists, send out a brief notice that…

1. Tells them you’ve updated the documents.
2. Briefly explains in plain English what you’ve changed.
3. Includes a link to the changed document on your site so they can read it.

For those who visit your site but aren’t on your lists, post a notice on your home page. Here’s an example…

“Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please click here to see what’s been changed.”

Of course, you’ll want to link from the statement to the policy that’s been modified.

Be sure to use a decent-sized font and don’t try to hide the notice by matching the font color to your site’s background. Make it easy to see.

In other words, treat your visitors and clients with the same respect you like to receive when the websites you go to change their terms and policies. If you have any questions, talk with your website attorney to ensure you’re doing the right thing by your visitors and clients while minimizing your legal risks in the process.

If you haven’t updated your website legal documents to reflect the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines that went into effect on December 1, 2009, chances are what you have on your website is obsolete.

To your online success!

-Mike the Website Attorney

Website Legal Forms Generator Software: How to Protect Your Website

By Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

website legal formsUnfortunately, some website business owners simply can’t afford to hire an Internet lawyer but they do need legal protections for their websites. This problem has now been solved by the creation of the Website Legal Forms Generator software.

Based on U.S. federal Internet law, the software generates 7 quality website legal forms (including Terms and Conditions of Use and a Privacy Policy) in just 17 minutes or less.

Do I recommend this product? Of course. I created it.

It is a substitute for professional legal advice? Of course not. But if you can’t afford a lawyer, it’s the next best thing. And you’ll be amazed how quickly and easily it is to generate the forms.

There’s a special introductory offer that will disappear as soon as there’s enough client feedback and testimonials. So you’ll want to go to right now to learn more.