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How to Write Terms and Conditions

Establishing terms and conditions is an important step in protecting yourself and your company. Terms and conditions can be legally binding. They can protect you and your company from lawsuits and other legal action. Beginning to write terms and conditions can be an intimidating task but is a necessary step to protect yourself and your business. Before beginning there are some basics you will need to know about how to write terms and conditions.

1. Know the basics. Terms and conditions need to be written in a clear and straightforward manner. They are not intended to be complicated and full of legal jargon. They should be easy for your customers to understand. If the terms and conditions are too long and complicated your customers may not read them. Though the terms and conditions should be understandable they should also take a professional tone.

2. Explain your policies and procedures. Your terms and conditions should clearly explain your company’s intentions. They should state what your company will do or provide and how. They should also state what you do and do not expect from your customers.

3. Prioritize your terms and conditions. Put the most important terms and conditions at the top and follow in descending order.

4. Categorize and organize your terms and conditions. Common categories consist of privacy, security, return/refund policies, shipping policies, complaints, health, safety, copyrights, patents and legalities.

5. Ensure your terms and conditions are easily available. In order to protect yourself you must ensure that your customers have read and agreed to your terms and conditions. In order to not turn your customers off, make the terms and conditions easily accessible and easy to accept. Require all customers to agree to your terms and conditions.

6. Review similar company’s terms and conditions. To ensure you have covered all aspects, search for businesses in your same industry and review their terms and conditions. Do not copy these as your terms and conditions need to be specific to your company. Do use other company’s terms and conditions as a reference point.

7. Review your terms and conditions very carefully. You will need to ensure that all topics are covered. You will also need to check for spelling and grammar. These terms and conditions will represent your company to your customers and to the courts if necessary. You will want to give a professional impression.

8. Have a lawyer review your term and conditions. While this is not necessary and the average business person can write their own terms and conditions, when possible it is always advisable to have a legal professional review your terms and conditions.

9. Keep your terms and conditions up to date. As your company grows and changes policies or procedures it is important to update your terms and conditions. If you were to face legal action and your terms and conditions did not apply to your company, they may no longer protect you and your business. Ensure your current customers receive a copy of the new terms and conditions. Keep documentation of the changes and notifications.

Tips

Write your terms and conditions very carefully and thoroughly.

Successfully writing terms and conditions may take time and several drafts.

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