How Do You Create a Website Terms of Use for Your Business?

You’ve built a business website. Next, you’ll need to formulate a comprehensive website terms of use. After reading this article, you’ll understand the essence of a terms of use page, grasp its key components, recognize its legal importance and gain access to tools and templates to craft terms tailored to your business’s specific needs.

Be sure to check out Flux Academy’s video “Easily Adding Privacy & Terms to your Websites – TermsFeed” for more tips and pointers after reading:

What is a Terms of Use Page?

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A terms of use page includes a text section designed to tell users how they can legally use your website and interact with your business. It can protect your business and ensure that you’re compliant with the law.

So, you want to create your own website terms of use or adjust your existing policies? Check out these guidelines and tools you can use.

Website Terms of Use

What elements must you include on your website terms of use page. Every site’s policy will look a bit different. It depends on you want users to interact with your content. You may choose to include many different sections. Some companies need to address many different issues. While others need to address only a handful. Below you’ll find a few of the basics that should be included in nearly every business website.

  • Ownership of content: This outlines who owns the content that is shared or included on your site. It also specifies how visitors can use or share that content. Often, it specifies whether your business owns all the content. And it specifies if and how users can legally use it.
  • Limitation of liability: Even the best small business websites may include some errors or information that isn’t true for every person. This section alerts users that you cannot be held liable for inaccuracies or mistakes on your site. This is especially important for sites that include comments or user generated content, since it’s difficult for you to control everything that is posted.
  • Copyright and trademark issues: Copyright and trademark issues may sometimes be included in the section about ownership of content and permitted use. However, it is essential to state specifically if you own a copyright or trademark over your content.
  • Privacy policy: Your privacy policy should state what type of information you collect from customers and visitors, along with a detailed description of how you can use that data.
  • Governing law: This section explains where your business is located and the law that you adhere to. Businesses in the U.S. may include a short section that explains that the policies outlined were created in compliance with U.S. law and the laws of your specific state.

Terms of Use Generators

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If you need some help creating your very own terms of use section for your website, there are plenty of generators available that can help you create a customized solution. Some of these are fairly bare bones, while others offer options for specific types of businesses. Here are some of the top ones to consider.

  • Free Terms of Use Generator. The Free Terms of Use Generator is a no-cost tool that is fairly basic. You simply enter a few quick facts about your business into a form and it plugs that information into a general template that you can copy and paste into your site.
  • TermsFeed. TermsFeed offers a wide array of templates and generators to help businesses stay compliant. To complete the terms of use generator, you’ll need to complete a full questionnaire about your business. Then it will determine which sections and text should be included.
  • Rocket Lawyer. Rocket Lawyer offers a generator that allows you to create a legally compliant terms of use document. You can copy and paste it onto your website and also keep it for your records and other official purposes as well.
  • FormSwift. FormSwift allows you to specify your location, type of business and policies to create your own terms of use within a few minutes. It includes documents that are compliant throughout all 50 states. So it’s perfect for those who do business with customers in a wide array of locations.

Terms of Use Templates

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If you’d prefer, you can also find plenty of templates online that give you the ability to view a full document and manually add information about your specific business. This may be the best option for those who want to maintain a lot of control over the specific content and wording. Here are a few of the most popular options available.

  • LegalTemplates. LegalTemplates provides a very thorough example of what a terms of use agreement should look like. You can review and download a full document so you can add or customize information about your specific business, or customize the document prior to downloading.
  • Upcounsel. Upcounsel is a legal services website that offers a fill-in-the-blank template so you can easily add specific information about your business. Easily copy and paste the text into your site without going through a lengthy process.
  • PandaDoc. PandaDoc offers a standard terms and conditions example that you can easily customize for your needs. It’s fairly basic, but includes many different sections so you can pick and choose the ones that your business really needs.
  • TemplateLab. TemplateLab offers several different template options. So you can select the one that suits your business closely. Or you could even mix and match sections from different templates if you so choose. However, with more than 40 free templates to choose from, you should be able to find at least one that gets close to your needs.

Navigating Terms of Use Options

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For small business owners looking into digital choices for their website’s terms of use,  understanding the intricacies of what is involved is critical. The table below simplifies these choices by categorizing and summarizing the tools and templates available, helping you make an informed choice tailored to your business’s specific needs.

Category Tool/Template Description
Definition What is a Terms of Use? A text section detailing the legalities of using a website. Provides protection for businesses and ensures legal compliance.
Key Elements Ownership of Content Defines who owns the content on the site and how users can legally use or share it.
Limitation of Liability Protects businesses from being held liable for inaccuracies or errors.
Copyright and Trademark Outlines ownership rights regarding content and brands.
Privacy Policy Describes data collection methods and usage.
Governing Law Specifies the legal jurisdiction of the business.
Generators Free Terms of Use Generator A basic, no-cost tool that plugs business facts into a general template.
TermsFeed Comprehensive questionnaire that crafts customized terms.
Rocket Lawyer Generates legally compliant terms for websites.
FormSwift Allows for custom terms based on business location and type; compliant across all 50 US states.
Templates LegalTemplates Offers a detailed template for terms of use which businesses can customize before download.
Upcounsel Provides a fill-in-the-blank template for easy customization.
PandaDoc A basic template with a variety of sections for customization.
TemplateLab Features over 40 free templates allowing businesses to select or mix and match based on their needs.

When it comes to drafting a terms of use section for your website, there’s no need to start from scratch. Several reliable generators and templates are available to provide a foundation, ranging from free basic tools to more comprehensive, customizable solutions. Whether you’re a small business just starting out or a larger entity with specific compliance needs, the options mentioned above cater to a wide variety of requirements. It’s essential to choose a tool or template that aligns with your business’s specific needs, ensuring a legally compliant and tailored terms of use. With these resources at your fingertips, you can prioritize both compliance and the user experience on your platform.

Image: Depositphotos.com


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