Starting an Online Business / CLE Webinar - Terms and Conditions, Part 1

Starting an Online Business / CLE Webinar - Terms and Conditions, Part 1

By Paul D. McGrady, Jr., Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig / Author, McGrady on Domain Names

I think some of the first things that a start-up business should think about are its terms and conditions and its privacy statement, because the terms and conditions on your website govern your relationship with your customer, and the privacy statement governs what you can do with the information you gather from your customer. 

For the terms and conditions,  a lot of folks are going to be tempted to go out to one of the big websites - for example to Amazon.com or something like that - and grab their terms and conditions and just make a copy of those and stick them on their website.  The problem with that of course, is that the terms and conditions are going to be unique to the geographic location where the company is, the kinds of customers that the company has, and the kinds of products that the company's going to sell.  And so, each of these things can't just be reproduced without thinking through who your underlying customer is and what you're trying to accomplish.

I think it's important that the start-up business take a good look at those issues.  Some things that are probably more important than others on those lists are things like governing law.  Invariably a dispute is going to happen.  In the event that it bubbles over into a lawsuit, where do you want that lawsuit?  Do you want to leave that blank and take a chance that the lawsuit is going to be heard where the customer is?  Do you want to put in choice of law and venue language that makes sure that if a customer decides to get aggressive with you that they'll have to come to your home jurisdiction to do that?  What you certainly don't want to do is to put in language where Amazon wants to be sued, because chances of you being where Amazon is are pretty slim, right?

To learn more, join me for a complimentary CLE Credited LexisNexis® Webinar: Starting an Online Business - Best Practices, on June 14, 2011, at 2 p.m. Eastern time.  To learn more about the webinar or register, click here http://www.eventsvc.com/LexisNexis_HB.

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