Terms of Use

We’ve divided our template into three broad sections:

  1. Information about the agreement
  2. Rules for your users
  3. Legal terms

1. Information About the Agreement

1. Information About the Agreement

These clauses tell your users what your Terms of Use agreement is and what it does.

Introduction and Effective Date

The first section of your Terms of Use should fulfill two important goals:

  • Introduce the agreement
  • Provide the effective date of the agreement

Take a look at how Evernote does this:

Evernote Terms of Service: Intro clause and effective date

Evernote strikes a great balance between formality and friendliness here. You can use your Terms of Use to build your brand and give your users a good impression.

Acceptance of the Agreement

Your Terms of Use should explain that your users accept your agreement by using your website or services.

This is particularly important if you operate a website. It won’t be practical to obtain express acceptance of your Terms of Use from everyone who visits your website.

Here’s how SEQ Legal does this:

SEQ legal Terms and Conditions: Accept the Terms clause

We’ll look at this in more detail below.

Reference to Other Policies

Your Terms of Use can also refer to any other agreements and policies that your company may have, For example, your Privacy Policy.

And, by the way, if you don’t have a Privacy Policy you should create one right away.

Note that agreeing to your Terms of Use, your users aren’t necessarily agreeing to your Privacy Policy and that separate agreements are not part of the Terms of Use. This is explained in Amazon’s Alexa Terms of Use:

Alexa Terms of Use: Intro clause with other agreement section highlighted

To reiterate: your Privacy Policy is a separate document to your Terms of Use.

Changes to the Terms

If you change your Terms of Use agreement, you should inform your users where possible, particularly if this is a significant change.

This example from Tito should give you some idea of how to handle this clause:

Tito Terms and Conditions: Update and Modify the Terms clause

Tito states that:

  • It may modify its terms
  • It will notify users via email where possible but it isn’t obliged to do so
  • Users should review its terms regularly to stay updated

Note that you should take all reasonable steps to notify your users of changes to your Terms of Use so they can consider withdrawing from your service if they no longer agree with your rules.