Terms & Conditions

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) clearly communicate to your website visitors, users and consumers the terms they must agree to when browsing your website, purchasing goods or using your services. T&Cs include all sale, delivery, return and refund policies, and exist primarily to protect you from consumers who claim to suffer loss from using your products and services, and to serve to avoid any misunderstandings between you and your customers.

Ensure your business is compliant with Australian Law

If you’re a small Australian business owner, especially one with an eCommerce website or online store, and you sell products or services online (either yourself or on behalf of others), it’s your responsibility to have T&Cs that comply with the latest Australian Consumer Law. In fact, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) regularly checks websites to determine if businesses are breaching the law. If they’re not, penalties and fines can be issued.

In your T&Cs, you must include a statement that you comply with Australian Consumer Law, details of your guarantee and the process by which you’ll handle refunds, repairs or replacement of faulty products. Additionally, it’s recommended you include details of shipping options and estimated delivery times, payment terms, cancellation policies and warnings deterring other businesses or individuals from stealing your content. Importantly, your T&Cs should be written in plain English, unambiguous and be positioned in an easily accessible area of your site.

Website visitors will often check your T&Cs before making a purchase, so apart from being a legal requirement, it’s beneficial to include them on your site and demonstrates to your customers that you’re conducting a professional operation.

It’s illegal to simply copy T&Cs from another website, as you are breaching another company’s copyright, and the ACCC now fines businesses that publish duplicate information which doesn’t pertain to their unique operation.

At Lawbase, we strongly advise small businesses not to use generic T&Cs templates or generators. Since you will probably have specific policies or risks unique to your business, your terms may not be compliant with Australian Law, and we can provide you with tailored advice and education about every detail you need to include to avoid future legal ramifications.  If you’ve got any questions about T&Cs, we’d love to help you out.


DISCLAIMERS

Website disclaimers are used by businesses on their websites to prevent a viewer or consumer suing them for any loss or confusion experienced from misinterpreting information in any way other than what was intended.

Mitigate your risk with a Website Disclaimer

Every website will convey information specific to its purpose and operations. If you’re a small Australian business owner, you have no control over who will view your website or how they may interpret or rely on information included on your site.

Also, you may unintentionally have inaccurate, inconsistent, controversial or out-of-date information on your website. Therefore, it’s imperative to include a website disclaimer to avoid any confusion or misunderstandings and help you protect your copyright and avoid potential liability from information you publish.

While T&Cs are generally used to inform paying customers, a disclaimer is usually used by websites that predominantly provide information. As such, disclaimers are usually less detailed, but they can broadly safeguard your business from misuse of all content included on a website.

At Lawbase, we’re committed to helping small business owners mitigate their risk from liability by understanding and implementing website disclaimers. We have extensive experience tailoring disclaimers, so if you have any questions, please talk to us today.


PRIVACY POLICIES

A privacy policy is used by businesses to explain how they store, use and update the personal information of visitors and customers. Like T&Cs and disclaimers, privacy policies should be easy to understand and easily accessible on a business website.

Improve transparency with a Privacy Policy

As a small business owner, you may not be aware that Australia’s privacy regulations are some of the strictest in the world.

Privacy legislation now requires all Australian businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or more to have a privacy policy on their website. The privacy policy should state how the business sources information about browsing activity (via cookies), and it must also state how the business uses or stores – among other things – physical and email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, credit card numbers, health information, medical histories and fitness levels. The business must also declare they won’t share, rent or sell email addresses, and that the business will process ‘unsubscribe’ or information change requests.

 

If your business has an annual turnover of $3 million or less, and you meet certain criteria, you may be required to have a privacy policy.

However, even if you are not required to have a privacy policy, it’s essential for every business that collects personal information to have a privacy policy so that customers understand the type of personal information you are collecting, and how you intend to use and disclose that information.

Fines apply if you fail to comply with the law.

Since Australian Consumer and Privacy Law is continually changing, especially within the online commerce landscape, we do not recommend using a generic privacy policy template. At Lawbase, we can customise a comprehensive privacy policy to suit your unique business needs, so get in touch today.