How Do I Write a Terms and Conditions Agreement?

How Do I Write a Terms and Conditions Agreement?

We've set out some of the sections that many businesses include in their Terms and Conditions agreements. You can use this as an outline when creating your own agreement.

We can't tell you precisely what to write in your Terms and Conditions. Your Terms and Conditions must be unique to your business. But here are some great examples of Terms and Conditions agreements for you to use as a starting point.


Key Clauses to Include in Your Terms and Conditions Agreement

Let's look at some of the most common sections that almost every Terms and Conditions agreement will benefit from including, starting at the beginning.

Introduction

Introduce your Terms and Conditions by naming the parties to the agreement (i.e., your business and the customer) and explaining the agreement's purpose and scope.

Here's an example from Sky History:

Sky History Terms and Conditions: Introduction clause

Incorporation of Other Agreements

You should use your Terms and Conditions to incorporate or make reference to your company's other legal documents, such as your Privacy Policy or End User License Agreement.

Here's an example from Spotify:

Spotify Terms and Conditions of Use: Introduction clause - Incorporated agreements section

Payments and Billing

If you charge for your services, your Terms and Conditions should explain your billing practices. Having a clear explanation of your billing practices set out in your Terms and Conditions is particularly important if you ever end up in a financial dispute with a customer.

Here's an example from Secure Fast Hosting:

Secure Fast Hosting Terms of Service: Payments and Billing clause

Eligibility

You may wish to limit who can access your services. For example, you may only wish to provide services to people over 18 or those living in certain regions. You should make these limitations clear in your Terms and Conditions.

Here's an example from Netflix:

Netflix Terms of Use: Netflix Service clause - Age and personal non-commercial use sections highlighted

Restricting, Suspending, or Terminating Accounts

From time to time, you may need to restrict, suspend, or terminate a customer's account or their ability to access your services. Failing to set this out clearly in your Terms and Conditions could leave you open to legal issues.

Here's an example from Revolut:

Revolut Personal Terms: Account termination clause

Disclaimer of Warranties

Some national laws impose "implied warranties" on businesses. These implied warranties are like automatic promises that goods or services are accurately described and of reasonable quality.

It is possible to disclaim these implied warranties in some jurisdictions by including a "disclaimer of warranties" in your Terms and Conditions. A disclaimer of warranties can sometimes be helpful when dealing with customer complaints.

The wording of your disclaimer of warranties will vary depending on where your business operates.

Here's an example from Versasec:

Versasec License Agreement: Warranty Disclaimer clause

Limitation of Liability

If using your product or services causes harm or damage to one of your customers, they attempt to sue your company. Inserting a valid "limitation of liability" clause into your Terms and Conditions places a ceiling on the maximum amount of money for which you can be sued.

The extent to which it is possible to limit your legal liability varies from place to place. Some jurisdictions, such as the UK, do not permit companies to exclude liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence.

Here's an example of a limitation of liability clause, from Nest:

Nest EULA: Limitation of liability clause

Indemnity

Your customers may cause harm to your business through their careless or unlawful use of your products and services. You can insert an "indemnity" clause into your Terms and Conditions to help ensure that they cover your costs.

Here's an example from Unilever:

Unilever Terms of Use: Indemnification clause

Governing Law

Setting the "governing law" of your Terms and Conditions means that, if a legal dispute arises with one of your customers, you get to decide which country's laws should be used to interpret the agreement and which country's courts should settle the dispute.

Here's an example from HERE:

HERE EULA: Governing Law clause

Remember: Some Terms and Conditions agreements may need additional clauses to cover things such as free trial terms, shipping and handling details or more business-specific content. Some businesses also may not need all of the above clauses (such as the payments and billing clause).

Our Terms and Conditions Generator makes it easy to create a Terms and Conditions agreement for your business. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the "Terms and Conditions Generator" button.
  2. At Step 1, select the Website option and click "Next step":
  3. TermsFeed Terms and Conditions Generator: Create Terms and Conditions - Step 1

  4. Answer the questions about your website and click "Next step" when finished:
  5. TermsFeed Terms and Conditions Generator: Answer questions about website - Step 2

  6. Answer the questions about your business practices and click "Next step" when finished:
  7. TermsFeed Terms and Conditions Generator: Answer questions about business practices - Step 3

  8. Enter your email address where you'd like your agreement sent and click "Generate."

    TermsFeed Terms and Conditions Generator: Enter your email address - Step 4

    You'll be able to instantly access and download your new agreement.


Can I Copy Parts of my Terms and Conditions Agreement?

We've provided examples of other companies' Terms and Conditions above, but we're not suggesting that you copy these agreements. Copying another company's Terms and Conditions could be unlawful.

Copyright arises automatically when a person publishes written works online. This includes Terms and Conditions agreement content.

While most Terms and Conditions agreements look pretty similar, there are actually many subtle differences between each. Copying a company's Terms and Conditions word-for-word could violate its copyright.

For more information, see our article: Does Copying or Adapting Another's Terms & Conditions Violate Copyright Law?

Why Should my Terms and Conditions Agreement be Unique?

Why Should my Terms and Conditions Agreement be Unique?

Legal issues aside, there are other reasons why copying another company's Terms and Conditions is a bad idea.

A Terms and Conditions agreement should reflect the reality of your business and its relationship with its customers. All companies are different.

For example:

  • You may charge users directly for your services, or you may rely on advertising revenue.
  • If you do charge your users, you might do so on a weekly, monthly, or per-use basis.
  • You may wish to create strict rules around what users can do on your platform, or you may wish to leave yourself a lot of freedom to restrict, suspend, or terminate users' accounts.
  • Your "limitation of liability," "exclusion of warranties," and "indemnity" clauses must reflect local laws.

Your Terms and Conditions agreement is a crucial way for you to govern your company's relationship with its customers as you see fit. You should think carefully about what to include, and you should avoid taking too much inspiration from other companies' agreements.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Write my Terms and Conditions Agreement?

Do I Need a Lawyer to Write my Terms and Conditions Agreement?

No, you don't necessarily need a lawyer to write your Terms and Conditions agreement.

Depending on your business's scale and context, it should be possible to use a customizable Terms and Conditions generator to help you create a valid Terms and Conditions agreement.

More complicated and larger-scale operations will require the support of a legal adviser or dedicated legal team. But for smaller and simpler businesses, you might be able to get by without legal assistance, so long as you plan and research carefully.

Bear in mind, however, that the courts will only enforce certain clauses in your Terms and Conditions agreement if they comply with the local laws governing consumer contracts.

You must also ensure that you obtain explicit acceptance of your Terms and Conditions if you want to rely on them in court. For example, this means that you should ask your customers to read your Terms and Conditions and tick a box if they agree with them.

For more information about obtaining acceptance of your Terms and Conditions, see our article Add "I Agree to Terms" Checkbox.

Robert B.

Robert B.

Legal writer.

This article is not a substitute for professional legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it a solicitation to offer legal advice.