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I need to write up a privacy policy and terms and conditions for my website. What would be the best process in doing that?

Charleston, WV |
Attorney answers 2


This will definitely be something on which you'll want to work closely with your attorney.

The terms and conditions is the contract between you and visitors to your website. It needs to be tailored to the needs of your business to establish the terms, including the disclaimers as you noted, that will govern the visitor's use of the site.

The privacy policy is a notice to the visitor of what data you collect and store on them as well as how you use and protect that data. Again, this is highly tailored to the form and needs of your organization.

A good starting point would be to look at other, preferably reputable online travel agencies and see what terms/conditions and privacy policies they have in place. From there, you can tailor your examples to your needs with the help of your attorney. It is not an endeavor on which I suggest one go alone.


Looking at the terms of competitors is a very good place to begin to understand the legalities involved, but you should never assume those terms will work wholesale for you. One small little provision can make all the difference between LIABLE and NOT LIABLE.

You may also require further legal attention, for example, if you allow for third-party user generated content a proper contact registration will be required to take advantage of the ISP "safe harbor" under the DMCA. This is how YouTube, for example, is not responsible for infringing content.

Another very important aspect is how the terms are implemented on the site. We do a lot of this kind of work and have seen many companies that have very professional terms drafted but they would not be enforceable because they were not properly placed on the site.

Lastly, and as my colleague noted, you have other legal concerns as well: entity formation, copyright issues, trademark, etc.

I suggest you discuss your plans with a lawyer in private and get some insights. The good news is most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult. I will link you to some general helpful info below as well

Best regards,
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

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