Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Where Can I Generate Terms and Conditions for an E-Commerce Website Online?

I urge you to please avoid making the mistake of using a template for your website. It’s easy to be lured into a false sense of security that these are boilerplate agreements that will protect your business. While some provisions are standard, others are not. These are legally binding contracts between you and your end users, so using caution can’t be overstated. We see too many entrepreneurs who tried creating T&Cs on their own only to later learn some costly mistakes. 

Here’s What You Need to Know

Templates can be very risky for many reasons since the purpose of your T&Cs is to protect your customers’ privacy, reduce your exposure to liability, shield your intellectual property (IP), inform about limitations and warranties, and disclose conflict resolution procedures. You need T&Cs that are going to cover your business, not someone else’s.

The type of business you’re engaged in (e.g., are you B2B or retail? are you selling goods or services?), as well as your range of business activities (how are you processing payments? what kinds of personal information are you receiving?) will dictate how your T&C’s should be customized to protect your business and customers.

An e-commerce website’s terms and conditions essentially have two overarching concerns: (1) legal compliance, and (2) company policies.

A privacy policy is legally required - in word and action. That means that you need to be able to walk the talk in protecting customer information. The privacy statement needs to specify how you’re going to protect the privacy of a customer’s data (including information stored in data logs), and how you will respond in the event of a breach of security.

In addition to legal compliance, you’ll want to protect your company with policies that are not legally required, but are strongly recommended. Policies protect your IP and reduce your exposure to liability. Violation of your policies gives you the right to terminate a user’s account in the event of a breach.

What Is the Best Example of a SaaS Terms and Conditions Statement I Can Learn From?