Terms of use or user agreement for web-site or mobile app

Terms of use draft is not enough. Terms of use (or sometimes – User agreement) defines the scope and content of the legal relationships your company enters with the users or subscribers of your services. 

Before drafting or before you order terms of use from technology lawyers, you may go through this terms of use checklist to understand what do you actually need to write in the user agreement. 

Terms of use checklist – top 5 matters to think of before the start

1. What is your legal status?

Usually services are provided by a legal entity, which may be registered in any jurisdiction. Your mobile app may be an intellectual property of your company. Your web-site may belong to you as a natural person, but on the other hand, you may provide services as a private entrepreneur. 

Thus, depending on the country, where your legal entity is registered, you will have to comply with respective applicable laws. Ensure, that according to the domestic legislation, you may provide services you provide being in your legal status.

2. Who are your users, subscribers, customers? 

Depending on the location of your users or subscribers, specific regulation may apply. For instance, some services are prohibited in some countries, while it’s ok to provide them in others. Also there is privacy regulation, which is specific for some regions, like European market, for example. 

Thus, you may regulate terms of use by means of law of your origin (the law, applicable to your company), while also making some additional remarks and clauses for users from specific countries. 

3. What services you provide and how much do you charge?

Actually, it’s the most important question to consider when you order terms of use. You have to define, when your payable services start, what exactly do you provide and how you plan to get money. You may get paid from Google or Apple if you have an application and plan to get money from advertisement placement. On the other hand, if you, for example, have a SAAS decision, based in app and web, you may get funds directly from your clients by means of payment system. 

Usually in order to use payment system services for you company, the payment provider will ask about your terms of use and business activity you provide and you got to be ready to answer on such questions in the details. 

Thus, before development of terms of use, consider your business plan in frames of exact scope of services you provide, which of them are for free – as use of website as a user, and which are chargeable.   

4. What are the risks you wish to cover in your Terms of use?

People think, that reading terms of use is boring. Well, it may be so. The good reason for that is one million of classic and specific disclaimers. Well, some of them are really important, as upon growing of your business you get more and more users, and as a result – more possibilities of random claims. 

The duty of terms of use is to protect your company from possible losses from such claims and on the other hand – to help to regulate the tough situation in a smart and legal manner. 

5. Refunds, IP, moderating and dispute resolution 

Well, it’s good, if not obligatory to have a refund policy nowadays. Your clients have to understand the conditions and cases for refund. Also refund policy may be asked by the payment system. 

It’s important to regulate the IP regime of your service. Usually it is stated, that you grant a license to your users for the usage of your web-site. Such license is quite limited and strict. On the other hand, users may also get access to additional content and functions of your web-site for additional payment. By the way, if the user will make a post or leave a comment on your website, who will have the IP rights for the text?

Let’s assume, you have a marketplace, where there are buyers of software licenses and developers, who have developed a respective software. The conflict starts between the buyer and the seller and they ask you to help. What are you going to do? 

Terms of use you can be proud of

Terms of use is the first document your users will read when they will want to dive deeply into mechanics of your services.  Just imagine your user agreement is not written in a plain language and, basically is a chaos of 1000 disclaimers. Who would like to read such document and how will it describe your service? 

Ordering terms of use, that are custom written by the true professionals can create one more brand asset for your company. By providing a terms of use, which are understandable, easy readable, describing mechanics of your services in pleasant way, you may win the loyalty of your customers and show them how much you care. 

Don’t hesitate to get a quotation for the tailor made terms of use for your stunning service, as it worth it. 

    Your question to IT lawyers