Terms Of Use


Terms of Use: Your Questions Answered

Before we look at what to include in your Terms of Use agreement, let's answer some common questions about what this agreement is and how it can help you.

What is a Terms of Use Agreement?

A Terms of Use agreement is a legal document. If you run a website, app, or virtually any other type of service, a Terms of Use agreement can help you:

  • Set the rules of engagement with your service
  • Explain how and why you may suspend or ban people from your service
  • Avoid or manage any potential legal issues

Is a Terms of Use Agreement Legally Binding?

Yes, a Terms of Use agreement is legally binding if it's:

  • Clear
  • Reasonable
  • Lawful
  • Agreed upon

The courts will usually enforce a Terms of Use agreement against either party if it's clear that both parties clearly agreed to it, and both parties knew what they were agreeing to.

However, there are certain clauses that courts will not enforce under any circumstances. For example, clauses that are designed to trick or exploit the user, or clauses that are forbidden by law.

Is a Terms of Use Agreement a Contract?

A Terms of Use agreement is a contract if it's clear, reasonable, lawful, and has been agreed upon.

Creating a Terms of Use agreement is not a legal requirement. However, a Terms of Use agreement is a simple, effective way to help your company avoid legal issues and is thus highly recommended regardless of not being required.

Terms of Use Vs. Terms and Conditions

Legally speaking, a Terms of Use agreement is the same thing as a Terms and Conditions agreement.

We're using the phrase "Terms of Use" to describe a general agreement between you and your users. Different companies use different names for this type of agreement, including:

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Terms of Service
  • User Agreement
  • Acceptable Use Policy

These documents usually serve the same purpose but can be used in different contexts.

Terms of Use Vs. Privacy Policy

A Terms of Use agreement is very different from a Privacy Policy.

A Privacy Policy is a form of notice that explains the ways in which a company processes personal information.

A Privacy Policy is a legal requirement for almost every company that operates a website or online service under laws such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA).

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