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What does ToS mean?

The meaning of ToS is: Terms of Service. That’s it.

But do you know what Terms of Service actually are? And how Terms of Service actually help your website or app?

If you would like to know the answer to these questions and more, then keep on reading.

What does ToS mean

What are Terms of Service (ToS)?

Terms of Service can be referred to in various ways: Terms and Conditions, Terms of Use, End User License Agreement (EULA). These names usually represent more or less the same thing: a legally binding agreement between the owner of a website/ app and their users.

For example, every social media platform has a Terms of Service document in place, to regulate the behavior of users, clarify copyright rules, limit liability and more. If users don’t act in accordance with the platform’s rules, they can be rightfully banned, because they agreed to stick to the rules when they first signed up.

Terms and Conditions aren’t only useful for large social platforms like Twitch, or YouTube. Even if you have a smaller website, or you’ve just started your blog or ecommerce site, you may want to consider adding a Terms and Conditions document. They can really make a difference.

But how? you may ask.

Let’s jump to the next paragraph!

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More on compliance for websites and apps

This article is a part of our series on compliance for websites and apps. Read also:

👉 How to Write Terms and Conditions

Why are terms and conditions so important?

Terms of Service are important because they allow you to set your rules (within applicable law, of course), to define how your content, products or services can be used and shared, and they can protect you from legal liabilities.

Terms aren’t always mandatory (note: they’re often mandatory for e-commerce websites) but, without them, it’s difficult for you as a business to mount an adequate defense if sued or legally challenged over the use of your product or service.

Let’s say you’re a personal trainer giving advice about home workouts, health and nutrition.
In the unfortunate event that one of your readers got injured while following your tutorial, a valid Terms of Service document with proper disclaimers may help you limit your responsibility.

What should a basic ToS document include?

Ok, you agree. You do need Terms and Conditions.

The next question is: what should they include?

While the specific content of a Terms of Service document will vary based on your individual needs, this is what a basic Terms of Service document should include:

  • account creation, termination conditions, accepted behavior: these clauses are useful if you’re running a website that requires users to subscribe and create an account;
  • disclaimers and limitation of liability clauses: disclaimers are useful because they limit your responsibility in the event that the information you’ve shared was used in the wrong way, while the limitations of liability define the conditions under which you may be held liable;
  • copyright rules: copyright is essential if you share your original content. You can set the conditions under which your work can be shared or used;
  • law of governance: this allows you to set your primary law of governance and it informs the users about the law that applies to you. This can be useful in cases where you may be operating in a particular state or country that grants you favorable conditions and you’d like to ensure that the rules of your region apply, should you be challenged legally. Keep in mind, however, that these clauses cannot be used to circumvent applicable law (e.g. the GDPR) if it applies to you.

Can I write my own Terms and Conditions?

For your own good, it’s better if you don’t – unless you have extensive legal knowledge, then it’s fine.

Terms of Service are legal documents meant to meet incredibly complex and highly specific scenarios, and a badly written ToS document will not serve its purpose and may land you in legal hot water.

We always suggest seeking the advice of legal experts or using a reliable Terms and Conditions Generator – created by legal experts – that allows you to fully customize based on your individual needs.

How iubenda can help

iubenda’s powerful Terms and Condition Generator lets you easily generate and manage professional Terms and Conditions that are fully customizable from over 100 clauses and up to date with the main international legislations.

All clauses are drafted by an international legal team, and available in 9 languages.

The solution is optimized for blogs, eCommerce, apps and even complex scenarios like marketplace, SaaS and affiliate marketing programs.

Generate a Terms and Conditions document

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About us

iubenda

Attorney-level solutions to make your websites and apps compliant with the law across multiple countries and legislations.

www.iubenda.com

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