Whether you're a freelancer, business coach, course creator or sell digital products, your website is an important piece of your business puzzle.
Even if your main marketing to clients is done through Instagram, TikTok or another social media platform, it’s likely that your website is their last stop before hiring you as their coach or for a project, or purchasing one of your products.
Well, yes and no. General terms and conditions for using your website, for example, that outline your payment and refund policies and licensing provisions (aka, how people can and can’t use your content and resources on your website) aren’t legally required. But, they are legally binding.
Laws like the European Union's GDPR, California's CCPA, and the Canadian CAN-SPAM Act aren't just alphabet soup; they're regulations that can impact your business's reputation and your bank account.
Something that might surprise you, is that in most cases, the law of where the user is located governs their use of your site, not where you the owner, reside. For example, if you are based in Canada, but a user from California visits your site, then your site needs to comply with the CCPA, which is the privacy laws for California. This is why it’s so important to have thorough, lawyer drafted policies that are robust and up-to-date and not just simply copied from someone else's site. Who knows where they got them! As a lawyer working with entrpreneurs for over a decade, you can bet I've seen some doozy (read: non-compliant policies!). No shame here, you don't know what you don't know. Kudo's to you for reading this and learning more about legally protecting your business though!
Picture this: a potential client visits your website and sees crystal-clear policies that scream, "I've got nothing to hide!" Tailored policies aren't just about legality; they're about trust. Showcasing your commitment to transparency and being up front about how you conduct business, and what clients or customers can expect from you from a customer services perspective can be the difference between making a sale and looking for someone else to purchase form.
Entrepreneurship is an exhilarating ride, but it's not without its bumps. Tailored policies can be your superhero cape, swooping in to protect you from legal dilemmas. Disclaimers can limit your liability, licensing provisions can be the basis of an infringement claim, and clear and easy-to-find payment and refund policies could make the difference between you winning or losing a chargeback dispute. As always, clear and specific policies will win the day, over vague or non-existent policies.
Just as trends evolve, so do laws and regulations. Lawyers and judges are being given a serious run for their money these days, trying to keep up with the changing online landscape (hello, A.I.!)
The best place is a separate page linked at the bottom of your website. For important clauses (like payment terms, refunds, and copyright licenses) or things you get asked all the time, I like to frame these as a question and include them in the FAQ section of your website. That way if someone says they didn’t see that policy (like in a chargeback dispute claim), you can point to several different areas of your website where you clearly set out your policies.
To Wrap Up….
Ultimately, tailored website policies are an easy legal protection to implement in your business, and not only help you stay legally compliant, but help build trust with your community. If you need Website Terms for your site, check out one of our Bundles here - which are easy to customize and implement in your business.