What Policies Your Website Needs to Be Legally Legit


Guest Post by Sam Vander Wielen

Sam Vander Wielen is a former corporate attorney who now helps entrepreneurs legally protect their businesses with DIY legal templates and training.

Is your website legally covered? How about your content, photos, and checkout process?

If you don’t have the three major website policies (privacy policy, website disclaimer, terms & conditions) on your website, your business isn’t 100% protected.

The truth is, you don’t really know who’s visiting your website, buying your products, or lifting your content. On the one hand, it’s really cool that you can build a business from anywhere online and reach new customers within minutes.

But having the three major website policies on your website is really your only chance at having those website visitors “agree” to a “contract.”

That’s what your web policies act as: contracts. When someone browses your site, they’re agreeing to what’s in those policies, because you say so. 😉

So it’s super important that those policies aren’t just any ol’ legal slop—you want them to be specifically tailored to you and what you do. And, you want to know what they say, so you’re empowered to use them to protect yourself if/when something comes up, like content copying or failed payments.

legally legit website policies

The three website policies that every legally legit website has are:

  1. Privacy policy

  2. Website disclaimer

  3. Terms & conditions

Each one of these policies should be placed as their own link in the footer of your website.

So, what are these policies, what’s the difference between them, and how do they legally protect you?

Privacy policy

A privacy policy is the website policy that tells people how/when/why you collect their personal information, as well as what information, specifically, you’re collecting. If you collect personal information on your website, you’re legally required to have this policy. 

Personal information can be defined as something as simple as a name and email address. But it’s not only needed if you’re building an email list. You also need a privacy policy if you use things like Google Analytics or other behavioral tracking on your website, or if you’re thinking of running a Facebook ad one day. 

Website disclaimer

A website disclaimer is what tells people who you are and what you do, and gives them “fair warning” to take your information and “advice” as they wish. That way, the visitor can make a fully formed decision about whether she’s going to implement your info, because she fully understands who you are, how you’re qualified and so on.

Website terms & conditions

Last but not least, your website terms & conditions are where you set out your business’ rules and policies. Your return policy, content sharing policy, payment terms, etc. are all addressed here. 

Creating your website policies

Don’t even think about copying and pasting someone else’s website policies—it’s a waste of your time. 

Borrowing someone else’s website policies won’t cut it because:

  1. You need your policies to cover you and what you do, not what someone else does.

  2. If you don’t know what your policies say, or don’t customize them to your way of doing biz, how will you ever enforce them?

I always recommend protecting your website as one of the first steps in building your business. If you’re already up and running and didn’t get to this one—take care of it as soon as possible.

For any website policy templates or contract templates you need in your online coaching or creative business, visit my DIY Template Shop

Xo, Sam 

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What policies your website needs to be legally legit // Website privacy policy, disclaimer, terms & conditions // Five Design Co.
What policies your website needs to be legally legit // Website privacy policy, disclaimer, terms & conditions // Five Design Co.