What if this happened to you?
You’re scrolling along on your favorite social media platform when you stop short. You recognize the content you’re reading.
Not because you’ve read it before. But because you wrote it. Word for word. And it was content that previously only existed inside your paid membership.
Having the correct legal documents in place can head off a lot of the headaches and costs of unnecessary legal battles.
**And just before we go any further:
Everything I share is legal education and information. It’s not business, financial, or legal advice, and it doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship between us.
Please chat with an attorney in your area to make sure you’re protecting your business.**
If you’re sitting there wondering why you weren’t aware of their importance before now, it could be because they aren’t actually legally required.
That makes them all too easy to overlook.
So while they may not be legally required, they are critical.
- Payment options
- Refund and/or cancellation policy
- How your product’s content can (and can’t) be used
- Limitations of liability (release from claims) and disclaimers (especially in licensed industries like health/medical, legal, and financial)
- Use of third-party and affiliate links
- How and where disputes will be handled
And the list goes on.
You’re not trying to take advantage of your customers, but you also want to avoid being liable if something goes wrong.
To strike a balance between these two goals:
Customers should be able to read them and easily understand exactly what they’re agreeing to.
- Keep provisions comprehensive and specific.
See the above outline of common conditions to consider, and ensure that the provisions you include are specific to your business.
Be prepared in the event that a dispute does arise and you need to take legal action.
This can be done in a number of ways, as long as you require them to take action, such as having them check a box or click a button indicating their acceptance.
By collecting their agreement this way, you create an enforceable contract under the E-Sign Act, whether your customer actually chooses to read the Terms or not.
You want to keep records of previous versions and the dates they were used.
That way, in the event a dispute does arise down the road, you can reference documentation of the appropriate versions of your terms.
I also recommend you keep records that demonstrate a customer MUST agree to your Terms before proceeding to make a purchase.
And this can be as simple as a Zoom video showing your checkout process!
Bonus tip: use a document management system, even something like Google Drive, to keep your records secure and easily accessible.
When you get to that point in your business, selling a digital product is an exciting way to scale.
Your terms should be clear, comprehensive, and enforceable so that you have the legal documentation you need to back up your case if a dispute arises.
Keep records of your agreements with customers so that you have evidence of their acceptance of your terms, and rest easy knowing this aspect of your business is protected.