Most websites include a link to their “Terms of Use” somewhere on the landing page.  Even though the terms of use are rarely read by website users, they serve as a vital legal safeguard for you, the website’s owner.

A terms of use document, sometimes called legal terms or just legal, achieves its purpose by serving as a contract between you, the website owner, and each user of your website.  Generally, the terms of use will state that if a user uses your site, he or she is agreeing to follow the terms it contains.  This is called “acceptance by conduct” and has been upheld by the courts.

To protect you, the website’s owner, the terms of use needs to address your site’s content and function.  Some common issues that are covered by many websites terms of use policies include terms such as:

  • The user’s agreement not to steal or misuse the copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property used on your key highlighting solutions
  • The user’s agreement not to use your site for unlawful purposes.
  • A disclaimer of warranties to protect you, the website owner.
  • A limitation of your, the website owner’s, liability.
  • A requirement that any lawsuits be filed in your, the website owner’s, home state.

More specialized websites may include additional terms such as an e-commerce site that sells electronic components. This site will need to address pricing, refunds, shipping, warranties, and risk of loss in their terms of use.  A website with a social media component will need terms that specifically address the users’ interaction with each other, such as restrictions on posting hateful, defamatory, or pornographic material on the website.  Additionally, a mobile marketing-type website will need to clearly limit the website’s responsibility for the content posted by the advertisers.  These specialized sites would be well-advised to require their users to click “I agree” to their terms of use. You can view this as an additional potential legal protection for you, the website owner.

A surprisingly high number of corporate websites lack any terms of use and it is essential every business uses them properly.

For terms of use, like most legal documents, one size does not fit all.  Getting a well-tailored terms of use policy can save you, a website owner, a great deal of time, angst and money. Jonathan enjoys crafting effective and comprehensive Terms of Use for  his clients and welcomes the opportunity to work with you to protect you and your online business.

This is just a basic overview of the importance having accurate Terms of Use for your Website. The concepts here on this page are not legal advice specific to your situation.  If you would like to speak with Jonathan about your unique circumstances, please call him at 925-217-3255 or email him at