Terms & Conditions

What are terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions (T&Cs) contain details to a transaction. They are written evidence of the duties, rights, and responsibilities of the parties to a deal. They can be viewed as a manual for a business agreement and should contain details covering every eventuality. Careful drafting is required; this is information that may be used in court should a dispute arise.

Are terms and conditions legally binding?

When T&Cs form part of a contract they are legally binding. A contract requires offer, acceptance, intention to form a legally binding agreement and consideration, which is usually money but may be anything else of value.

What are online terms and conditions?

Online T&Cs are used where an online contract is being made, for example when purchasing an item. A tick box is used asking for acceptance of T&Cs and giving the opportunity to view them. It is preferable to ask for acceptance of the T&Cs rather than for a statement confirming that they have been read and understood.

Why are terms and conditions important?

T&Cs are vitally important because they contain the details of a deal. Parties entering a transaction should be able to understand from the T&Cs exactly what will be expected of them and what would happen in the even of a disagreement. Should a dispute arise a judge or arbitrator will decide the case by examining the detail in the T&Cs.

Do terms and conditions need to be signed?

A contract containing T&Cs does not always need to be signed. Whilst it is usual and preferable to sign a contract, actions such as emails, online tick boxes and even proceeding as though a contract is in place can all be enough to form a legally binding agreement.

Can terms and conditions be copyrighted?

T&Cs constitute intellectual property and wholesale copying breaches copyright law. Should a legal dispute arise, no-one wants their illegally obtained T&Cs in front of the court. Apart from the legality point, it is worth having T&Cs professionally drawn up right from the beginning to ensure that they are specifically tailored to the business they are designed to protect.

Are terms and conditions required for a website?

There is no legal requirement for a website to have T&Cs, however any site run as a business would be wise to include them. As well as listing conditions specific to any transaction they should limit liability, exert copyright, state the privacy policy (a legal requirement if data is collected) and name the country whose laws govern the site.

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