Free Website Terms and Conditions Template - Australia |

Free Website Terms and Conditions templates (Australia)

Leave it to the experts and take the guesswork out of your website’s legal disclosure.

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You've spent weeks designing the perfect website for your business only to realise maybe you're missing something. Don't most websites have a bit of legal mumbo jumbo at the bottom? And, is that something that you should have?

The short answer is: probably. A Website Terms and Conditions page, while not the most exciting section, helps limit your liability and protects your rights to the content found on your website. Take a look at how to put Website Terms and Conditions together and where to find a free template to make it an easy process.

What are Website Terms and Conditions?

Website Terms and Conditions (also known as Website Terms of Use) set out the rules for people using your website. They are a detailed legal notice stating the terms that visitors of your website, subscribers to your services or purchasers of your products must agree to.

They include how users can use your website, what's prohibited and a disclaimer to limit your liability for your website.

website terms and conditions template from Lawpath

Download this template at Lawpath

When should I use Website Terms and Conditions?

If you are selling anything online then you need to have terms and conditions for your website. This includes transacting sales via an online store or advertising products and services. While it might not be required by law in other instances, it's still a smart thing to have if you'd like to protect the intellectual property on your site and limit your liability in general.

Website Terms and Conditions vs Website Privacy Policy

Your Website Terms and Conditions sets out what you expect of your website users and what they can expect from your business in return. There isn't always a legal requirement to have terms and conditions posted.

A Privacy Policy, on the other hand, deals with how you collect visitor and customer information on your website. This includes the confidentiality of information such as email addresses and browsing activity. All Australian websites are required to have a Privacy Policy if any customer or visitor information is collected.

You could choose to include details of your Privacy Policy in your Website Terms and Conditions, however, best practice is to also have a separate Privacy Policy. This ensures it is easy to find on your website for visitors to read.

What do Website Terms and Conditions include?

Website Terms and Conditions can often become lengthy affairs which are seen as a "catch-all" for all your legal disclosure requirements. As a guide, these are some key points that you can include in your website's version.

  • Your ownership and intellectual property
  • Disclosure of information
  • Limiting liability for information and material
  • Limiting liability for third party links
  • The user's rights
  • Consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law
  • Delivery of goods policy
  • Returns and refunds policy
  • A disclaimer for warranties

How effective are Website Terms and Conditions?

While having terms and conditions posted on your website will not protect you from being sued, it will provide a certain level of protection and potentially limit your liability in some situations.

One thing to keep in mind is that, once your website is online, your content becomes available internationally. This is regardless of whether you provide products or services outside of Australia or not.

You can't limit who visits or uses your website, which means there are limits to the protection offered by your Website Terms and Conditions. Other countries may apply their local laws despite any condition stating the jurisdiction of your terms to be Australia on your website.

Do I need a lawyer for Website Terms and Conditions?

The majority of businesses can protect themselves by using a standard Website Terms and Conditions template. If the product or service you're offering is unusual or you're aware of a specific risk to your business, then you might want to consider legal advice.

Get access to customisable website terms and conditions templates online

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How do I write Website Terms and Conditions?

A professional set of terms and conditions are an important part of running a business. Put yourself in your customer's shoes and make sure your terms are easy to understand, clearly visible and unique to your business.

Here are some general guidelines to help you write your Website Terms and Conditions:

  • Don't make them too long (think the opposite of iTunes')
  • Use clear headers and bold any important clauses
  • Keep your terms consistent between your website and other collateral (e.g. quotes or invoices)
  • Make them fair and reasonable
  • Make them easy to find, with a link from each page on your website
  • Don't just copy and paste from another website

Ideally, you should also provide an opportunity for the visitor to click "I agree" to the terms along with a way for you to record this.

With a document that can easily get up to double digits in page numbers, it's best to leave the contents up to the experts. Fortunately, there are several places you can find free or reasonably priced templates online that include the necessary legal jargon and nothing of importance is left out.

Here's where you can find legal documents and templates online:

  • Lawpath. An online legal resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs, Lawpath has a free sample available but you'll have to sign-up to access customisation options.
  • Legal123. While not free, Legal123 offers a Website Legal Package that includes a Privacy Policy, Disclaimer and Website Terms and Conditions all in one.
  • LegalVision. LegalVision members can download legal document templates free of charge, including Website Terms and Conditions. The monthly membership fee is $199 and includes unlimited consultations with its lawyers.
  • Net Lawman. An English-based company that provides legal document templates to businesses and individuals including a variety of Website Terms and Conditions to choose from depending on what you provide.

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