As a business owner that markets online, it’s no secret that you want your website and social media to be aesthetically pleasing.
It’s one of the ways that you grab your audience’s attention and get them hooked on your content – and we all want that, right?!
Sometimes I see people thinking they have to be one or the other: cute and trendy OR professional and “businessy.”
But what if I told you that you could be BOTH?!
Cute and trendy with the right amount of professionalism so that you never have to sacrifice aesthetics, but you’re also checking allll of the “businessy” boxes along the way – with the most important being: legal compliance. ✔️
It’s true! There is a way you can have an aesthetically pleasing website AND make sure it’s completely legal at the same time.
The way you do it? By having 4 super simple legal policies displayed on your website – and no, I promise they don’t have to steal the show from your creative copy.
All of these legal policies can live in the footer of your website, so that they’re discreet but visible so that your website users always know what to expect from you and your content.
As a lawyer that supports small business owners, my goal is to help you keep more of your money in YOUR bank account and out of the hands of the government and one mega way to do that is to make sure your website is legally backed.
This policy has one job: to inform your website users of what to expect so THEY are protected and so are YOU!
This is a legally binding agreement between you and ALL of your website visitors that typically covers topics like if or how they can use your website images (including your logo), how they can backlink to your website and even how they can quote your blogs.
This agreement also helps limit your liability for any possible errors, such as typos or technical glitches.
This is a SUPER common issue for those in the online business world, so take the necessary steps to protect yourself and avoid yet another legal headache.
If you are selling digital products (think courses, templates, membership, etc) or physical goods, you want to ensure that you have some sort of Terms and Conditions (also referred to as Terms of Purchase or Terms of Service Agreement) that sets the rules for how your product or service can be used.
Not only does a Terms of Purchase Agreement cover how someone can use the product or service they purchase, but it also should cover policies that are a part of the purchase process, such as refunds, chargebacks or cancellations.
You’ve likely seen these types of agreements in action during your own purchases with various businesses – it’s usually a checkbox at checkout that says “I agree to these Terms and Conditions…”
When users click that box, it means they are actively agreeing to the terms your business has set up. That little checkbox is called a “clickwrap” in the legal world and is the exact way that I advise business owners to display their terms. Bonus points added if you have the Terms of Purchase also linked in the footer of your website.
When you set your terms as a clickwrap (NOT a browsewrap), your agreements are more enforceable if any legal action is ever needed!
When it comes to implementing Terms of Purchase for your online business, you want to make sure you’re including all of the applicable clauses to fully protect yourself.
Lastly, disclaimers are another HUGE piece that makes your website legally compliant.
Generally speaking, a disclaimer on your website is a legal statement used to limit your liability and inform users about certain aspects of your website or its content.
Overall, these statements are intended to protect YOU as the website owner from legal claims and to ensure that users are aware of your website’s limitations and potential risks!
Depending on your industry, there are various types of disclaimers that you may need.
For example, on my website I have a disclaimer stating that The Boutique Lawyer is not a law firm and this isn’t legal advice. This disclaimer statement would protect me if anyone ever claimed, absent an attorney-client contract, that I acted as a lawyer on their behalf!
Disclaimers are huge for all business owners, but especially if you fall into an industry where people expect certain results, such as health and wellness, financial, business coaching, etc.
To help you know what type of disclaimer to use for your specific business, CLICK HERE to browse the options and when in doubt, a General Disclaimer will typically suffice.
The Risk of Not Having Legal Policies On Your Website
And there ya have it!
The 4 core legal policies that EVERY website needs to be considered legally compliant in the online world.
I know this part of business can feel boring and even intimidating, so it can be easier to avoid it than to face the reality of what’s needed, but failing to implement these legal policies can land you in real legal trouble.
Not only can you waste precious dollars on building a business that has no legal backing, but you also can waste precious time that you can never get back.
So, save yourself from all of that by grabbing the contracts you need to ensure that your aesthetically pleasing website and content is legally protected so you can spend MORE time in your zone of genius!
In the grand scheme of things, implementing this NOW will save you time (and money) in the future. If you have questions about what your business needs specifically, I’m always here to help!
Your legal bestie,