Is Your Website Legally Protected?
Is Your Website Legally Protected?

Is Your Website Legally Protected?

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Benefits of a Website

As a freelancer or business owner, it is almost a necessity to use the world wide web to showcase your goods and services.  Having your own website is beneficial in the fact that you can cast a wider net to attract new clientele, push more goods and services, appear more organized, and it allows you to appear very professional.  Having a website for your freelance services or business creates a brand. 

There are many aspects to creating your own website; however, there is one part that is often overlooked.  Yes, your website may be visually appealing.  It may even provide some of the best products and services for your clients.  But have you considered if your website is legally protected?

The Risks Involved

Chances are you may not have even considered that a website has to be legally compliant in order to exist, but it does.  By neglecting to correctly set up your website you run many risks that can damage your brand.  You may be asking yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?”  Here are just a few dilemmas you don’t want to run into:

  • Breach of state and federal privacy policies
  • Not complying with the privacy policies of other areas such as Australia, United Kingdom, European Union (EU), and Canada.
  • Costly lawsuits and legal disputes (thousands of dollars)
  • Tarnished reputation and the loss of current and potential clients/visitors

As you can see, not ensuring that your website is legally compliant is extremely costly.  You could lose it all. There are at least 3 things that you must always have clearly visible on your website to cover yourself:

  • Privacy Policy – This is a legal notice that states what personal information is collected from users on your website.  It also details how you collect that information and why you use their private information.  For example, your website may collect phone numbers, credit card information, email addresses, etc.
  • Terms and Conditions – This legal document clarifies the relationship between the users of the website and the company or individual tied to the website.  The document outlines the services you provide, how to contact you/the business, and the conditions of using the website’s services.  You can look at this as basically just a list of detailed rules for using your website. Some examples of clauses in the agreement may pertain to refunds, fees, return policies, cancellation of services, warranties, and how to use the website.
  • Disclaimer – This legal notice tells users what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for. This limits your liability.  Examples include liability for things shown on the website to visitors, information provided to visitors, affiliates you have partnered with, etc.

What You Should Avoid

If you ask around, some freelancers and business owners may tell you that you can simply use Google search results for free legal templates.  Honestly, if you did it would be a huge mistake.  Free legal templates are problematic for multiple reasons.  Some are not properly tailored to include clauses which would fit the needs of your specific service or business model.  Clauses and wording may be omitted, and this would still place you in the category of breaching the law and not being legally protected. 

Other freelancers and business owners may also suggest paying an actual attorney to draft all 3 agreements for you.  Although this is a safe and accurate method for obtaining what you need, realistically this is not a cost-efficient method.  Allowing an attorney to draft your documents is very expensive, and chances are you may not be willing to foot the bill.

The Perfect Option

There is a way to obtain legally compliant documents drafted by lawyers at a fraction of the cost.  This is something that I found out as I was researching legal compliance prior to building my website.  I was confused and a bit stressed because I had no idea what I was doing. I asked myself, “How do I become legally compliant on a small budget?”

Luckily, I stumbled upon a free legal guide created by Erika Kullberg (an attorney from Georgetown Law).  Her business Plug and Law is dedicated to legal compliance and helping people like me. Once I reviewed the free legal guide, I knew that I was in for a good bargain.

Next, I made the decision to purchase Plug and Law’s “Legal Bundle” which contains all 3 mentioned legal documents needed to keep my website legally protected.  This was very affordable for a small business owner and freelancer like me.  Once I purchased the “Legal Bundle” I was also blown away at how simple it was to use.  Upon viewing the templates, I noticed that all the content I needed was already there.  All I had to do was customize a few highlighted parts to fit my business model. 

Overall, the entire process was seamless and took only a few minutes.  I saved time, energy, and money without the headaches.  Above all, I can rest easy knowing that I am fully legally protected.  I love it, and I have no doubt that you will too. 

To see what Plug and Law’s “Legal Bundle” is all about click here.

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