One thing that we often notice with startup clients is that they tend to underestimate the extent of what their app or online T&Cs need to cover – there are a lot of commercial business decisions which need to be made before finalising T&Cs and they are generally quite bespoke to your business.
So this guide is intended to give you an oversight of what those business decisions are to help you kick start the process of preparing and finalising your T&Cs. You can also download our App or Web App T&Cs Questionnaire (prepared by Accelerate Law) to help you in that process and which will likely reduce any legal fees you incur in having them prepared, whether with us or any other provider.
10 Key Points to Consider Before Creating your Customer T&Cs
1. What exactly do the T&Cs relate to? A website? An app? Physical products? Services? All of the above? If your product is only an ‘app’, you will almost certainly also have a website which customers can use to find information about you, which should be referenced in the T&Cs.
2. Account registrations – what is the process for registering for an account with your business?
3. Who are the users? For a standard consumer app, the users are people who download and use the app, but for marketplace businesses like Uber or Airbnb, there are two sets of users – the service providers, and the customers who are connected to them via an app. For those businesses, T&Cs can cover both types, and often there will be separate sets of T&Cs for both.
4. Any subscriptions or membership plans – will your business offer subscriptions, or different tiers of subscriptions or membership plans to customers?
5. Payments – if taking payments, how will you accept payments, and will they always be paid up front or will they ever be paid in instalments? If in instalments, when will instalments be paid and what are the conditions for the later instalments?
6. Returns and refunds – what is your policy on returns (for physical products) and refunds (for other types of businesses)? Under what circumstances could somebody be due a refund or return, and if they are due one, how will they actually receive it?
7. Cancellations – what if a customer wants to cancel their membership or an order after it has been placed?
8. Age restrictions – are there any age restrictions for use of your business?
9. User-generated content? For apps, do your customers upload any content or comments or other interactions in your app, and if so, how will they do so and what are the rules for them doing so?
10. Behaviour? Will you have a general code of conduct for use of your business service?
Other important aspects (e.g. intellectual property, liability for damages) can be more standardised, but generally many of these aspects will be bespoke to your business and the decisions which you make for it. Whether using Legal Sidekick, or any other legal service provider, then you will need to cover these questions off in order to launch your business, and addressing them as part of your T&Cs preparation exercise is an efficient way of covering both at the same time.
Preparing T&Cs is a very useful way to cover off a lot of the technicalities of your business which you may not have otherwise considered in full already – especially relating to payments, cancellations and refunds.
Legal Sidekick is a legal platform for startups specialising in apps, subscription, marketplaces and various other startup legal areas. You can access this T&Cs Guide and other startup legal documents and guides via our platform. Search the Encyclawpedia for the resource you need. If we don’t have it – please request it!