Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

As an entrepreneur, staying on top of technicalities and paperwork and legalities will be a constant responsibility of yours. For any business to function well it will needs to be defined and directed by clear-cut rules and regulations. These rules, laws and norms will have to be created, refined, applied and monitored for every aspect of your business. It is your responsibility to ensure that your business meets all legal requirements as well as the expectations of your clients and customers. In this article, we take a look at two important categories of rules that govern a business: the Terms of Service (ToS) and the Privacy Policy.

Terms of Service

What It Is?

‘Terms of Service’ refers to a set of rules that your clients and customers must agree to follow in order to be able to purchase your products and/ or services. The basic premise of a ToS agreement is that the customer is clearly aware of what they are buying from you and the price/ fees they will be paying for the same. Terms of Service can apply even in a business-to-business situation, when two companies or entrepreneurs collaborate or when you hire a service provider. The ToS can be amended over time, as your business grows and evolves.

Why It’s Important?

As an entrepreneur it is never to early to start thinking about the transactional details you and your clients/ customers can agree to legally. This may be something as simple as agreeing to allowing Internet cookies while they peruse your website or something more specific, such as the specific kinds of payment methods you accept. Even though most businesses usually just use the Terms of Service as a disclaimer, a properly drafted ToS that you encapsulate as a part of your company policy can be legally binding on both you and your clients/ customers.

Why You Need It?

It’s very important that any and all parties involved in a transaction of any nature be fully aware of just what it entails. When you leave things ambiguous you leave them open to misinterpretation, and thus make your business and yourself vulnerable to a number of legal and market issues. By developing clear Terms of Service for your business you will be fulfilling your responsibility to your clients by honestly and succinctly communicating to them what the exchange involves, your role and their duties as a paying customer.

What It Should Include?

You can touch upon all manner of conditions and stipulations in your business ToS, but here are a few essentials you mustn’t overlook:

  • Products/ services being provided by you.
  • Descriptions and details about the same.
  • How the pricing is calculated (usually recommended for services).
  • Payment terms (details like payment methods, payment instalments and milestones etc.)
  • Contract termination details and conditions.
  • Duties/ obligations of all parties.

Recommended Reading:  Is Trademark Registration Important For Your Business?

Privacy Policy

What It Is?

A privacy policy is a statement about how your business will use your clients’ personal information. This is especially important if your business uses a website to connect with its target audience and/ or sell products or services. When people submit their information to you they have a right to know how you intend to store, use and communicate (if at all) this information. People will want to know the level of privacy rights they can enjoy with you and so, a properly designed and explicit privacy policy is a must for any business.

Why It’s Important?

Most businesses track their visitors and store some kind of information about their clients and customers- both online and offline. Whether you’re using your website to directly sell products/ services and you keep your clients’ banking and financial details on file or you just have a mailing list with some contact details, a privacy policy is an absolute must so that your clients/ customers know that their information and details are safe with you.

Why You Need It?

Having a privacy policy is especially important if you’re planning to use an online presence to market your brand/ business. The first step towards creating a solid readership audience and then converting them to buyers is to assure them that you’re trustworthy. Some industries have a legal mandate regarding privacy policies. Even if yours doesn’t, you should prepare one because it’ll go a long way in contributing to your credibility.

What It Should Include?

Details about how you keep your users’ particulars stored, what you use this information for, whether or not you share this information with other service providers (highly discouraged as this will turn off most visitors) and any kind of statute of limitations on information storage and privacy.


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