A terms and conditions agreement is the proper name for this kind of document and no matter which name is used that is what the document is.
What is a Terms & Conditions Contract?
A terms and conditions contract is a document that is usually used in regard to a website or software of some kind.
Your website or product belongs to you, by law, and another person using your product or website is against the law.
A terms of service agreement is a way for you to legally give permission for someone else to use your website or product and determine in what circumstances they are allowed to use it and how they will be punished if they do not follow the rules you have outlined.
For instance, if your business is operated out of Wisconsin in the United States, then your terms and services agreement is governed by United States law and the law in Wisconsin, so that is where legal action will have to be taken by a dissatisfied user or yourself regarding them
It is a way to protect you and the user from each other in a legally binding way.
Without it, you are essentially giving free rein to anyone to use your site or service and do whatever they want with it.
In the event of a legal dispute between the site or service owner and the user, the terms of service are the first thing requested and what it says will determine the tone of how the situation is handled.
The user’s complaint may be about something the terms of service already covers and it will, therefore, protect you from any legal action that may be taken against you.
On the other hand, it is also possible that you will need to use your own terms and conditions agreement to take legal action against a user if they have incurred damages to you or your finances. With a terms and conditions agreement in hand, you will have everything you need to ensure that you will have to be compensated by the user in this circumstance.
Should a Terms of Service Contract Be Written By an Attorney?
In an ideal situation, yes, your terms of service contract should be written by a legal expert that understands the law and how it should be worded to protect you best. That said, not everybody can afford a team of lawyers to get this done, so there are other options available.
Upon entering a website you are presented with a long block of text, at the end of which you must click something to the effect of “I agree”, be it a button or a checkbox.
This is the standard way a terms and conditions contract is displayed and it is the most ironclad when it comes to legal proceedings.
The other kind of terms of service agreement is a browsewrap agreement. These kinds of contracts are displayed somewhere on the site and you are considered to have agreed to them just by being on the site.
As you can imagine, this has a much harder time being defended in court because many users won’t even see it which means they never agreed to it.
This is completely unenforceable because you are being forced to agree to all possible clauses, which is ridiculous.
So far, the ruling is that the deal is between the owner and the user and nothing may interfere with that outside of the specific circumstances outlined above.