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Terms and Conditions (Checklist for selling on-line)

This checklist is based on UK law. It was last updated in October 2008.

This guide sets out a checklist of legal issues to consider in the context of selling on-line. Links to other Out-Law guides have been provided in many areas, and these guides should also be considered to gain a fuller understanding of the legal issues raised by on-line selling.

Checklist – terms and conditions

  • Have you included information about your company? (full company name, company registration number for a limited company, business address, VAT number if relevant, email address, etc.) Is this information clearly displayed to your potential customer? (See our articles on Dealing with Consumers, The UK's E-Commerce Regulations)
  • Have you properly incorporated your terms and conditions? (See our guide, On-line Contract Formation)
  • Are your website terms and conditions fair and reasonable?
  • Are they capable of being saved and printed properly?
  • Do you direct your customer towards the terms and conditions during the sale process?
  • Do you advise your customer of all the technical steps to make a transaction?
  • Do you make it clear that your potential customer is making an offer when placing an order which you can either accept or decline?
  • Have you included a mechanism in relation to acceptance of orders where you control the point at which the contract is formed? Do you provide for the timing and deemed place of sending and receipt of electronic communications? (See our guide, On-line Contract Formation)
  • Have you limited your liability? (See our guide on Using Exemption Clauses in Web Sales
    • Has this been brought to the attention of your customer?
    • Is it reasonable?
    • If you are dealing with the USA, is it in bold type and capital letters?
  • Can you insure against the liability that you are accepting?
  • Are your prices clear and unambiguous?
  • Have you taken steps to avoid being bound by mistakes in pricing information? (See our guide on How to protect your site against pricing errors)
  • Have you advised your potential customers of delivery costs and relevant taxes?
  • Have you provided for the payment mechanism? If payment is by credit card, have you made it clear that receipt of payment does not mean that you have accepted an order and that you reserve the right to return the payment to the customer?
  • Have you included any necessary confirmations from the customer as to age, country of residence and/or authority to use the payment card?
  • Does the site provide a means of correcting errors on the order page (a "clear" button)?
  • Have you included provisions as to:
    • a cooling-off period?
    • delivery?
    • a returns and refunds policy?
    • any rights that the consumer may have under local law? (e.g. do distance selling regulations apply?)
    • a choice of law and forum clause?
    • your ability to change terms on notice?

Checklist – other contractual notices and policies

  • Have you included an appropriate data protection notice? (See our guide on Data Protection)
  • Do you need to include any other notices? (e.g. where you are not selling to customers resident in certain countries?)
  • Have you included an on-line copyright notice? Does it grant a limited licence? (e.g. personal use, copy to hard disk, print etc.)
  • Have you included a linking policy?
  • Have you included all necessary disclaimers? Are they clear and brought to the attention of visitors to the site?

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