Website terms and conditions template

Marketplace for services; seller side
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Document overview

You operate as an intermediary or "market place" joining business or consumer buyers and providers of some sort of specialist service. This website terms and conditions template sets out the relationship between your business and your providers or providers who use your website to sell. You might operate as a membership club. Providers enter product information through your website. This template sets out your terms of business and gives you strong legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property.
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About this terms and conditions document

Your website is an interface for buyers and providers of a specialist service. The service may be ordered via a computer, smartphone, tablet or any other mobile device.
This website terms and conditions template sets out the relationship between your business and service providers who use your website to sell. The service bought and sold could be anything.

Examples are:

  • hgv training;
  • financial or investment advice;
  • insurance recommendations;
  • mobile apps;
  • a ten session examination tutorial system;
  • an automated personality test;
  • customised medical advice;
  • children’s sports lessons
  • some technical diagnostic service.

You could operate openly as a market or you could ostensibly be a review site where you promote particular services. You could charge the provider (as provided for in this document) or you could provide your market place service free and take advertising revenue. You may be a membership site where buyers subscribe.

Services will be provided either online (personality test), or by download (investment information) or delivered personally (HGV training or sports lessons) or even by telephone.
Providers upload necessary information to your site or complete your pre-set data entry boxes. Any other arrangement could be accommodated provided it is via Internet or other electronic medium.

We have provided for basic contract procedures, but information on how the service is provided must come from the providers as it will differ in every case.

You might specialise in one product, or you could sell a wide range of products. You do not need to have more than one provider client but we assume that you will. Most of your providers probably use your services because they do not have an internet facility for taking money or because your marketing service is better than they could achieve. You are simply marketing and collecting money.

This is one of the two T&C documents you'll need if you operate a website that provides a marketplace. This document sets out the terms of use for your providers, and the obligations that a provider has, to a buyer who comes through your website.

Because each marketplace website has its own business model, we provide separate agreements for terms with buyers and providers. You should therefore pair this document with the most suitable provider side marketplace T&C document we offer. See below.

It is possible that some of the providers who use your market place service also have their own contract with each client you introduce. If you have many providers, each will have his own T&C contract. You may need to provide for that in your website structure. We cannot help you because we do not know what terms a provider might need.

It is important not to confuse the service you provide through your market place website, on the one hand, and the service you sell through your website on behalf of others, which is no part of your business.

This document serves two purposes:

  • First it protects you in law from a huge array of potential problems arising from disputes between your provider and his client. So far as the European Union (Consumer Information, Cancellation and Other Rights) Regulations 2013 concerned, we have provided as far as possible for your providers to be responsible for compliance with the Regulations, so as to minimise the weight on you. If you sell only to business, you can easily remove the provisions relating to the Regulations.
  • Secondly, it enables you to set out how your website works to benefit the provider. It is assumed that you will insist on some standard terms by all providers so that a buyer can return to your site later and buy from a different provider without the terms being markedly different.

It is assumed that both providers and their customers will have access to your website for one or more reasons.

Examples reasons are:

  • to upload their own marketing text and images;
  • to place adverts; to contribute to forums;
  • to communicate with each other;
  • to resolve disputes;
  • to give testimonials;
  • to communicate with you.

We have therefore provided very wide ranging protection. This will be more than you need, but can be edited easily by deletion, as can any text in Net Lawman document.

Is this template suitable for your website?

This template suits a site that:

  • sells services anywhere in the World;
  • connects buyers with providers;
  • provides payment facilities, collect taxes and fees and passes on to the provider the net sales value;
  • has providers that pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee;
  • either allows providers to upload their own product pages or product advertisements OR instructs you to do that for them;
  • provides a marketing service to providers;
  • has either regular sellers who operate their business from your site continuously, or allows one-off sales.

The benefit of clear terms and conditions

Website terms and conditions are probably the best example of a legal document where use of plain English strengthens the legal effect of the document. If a dispute should arise, it would be hard for a user of your site to claim that he did not understand, even if English is not his first language.

Using this document on your website will help you to:

  • set out clearly how your business works and how providers should act and behave;
  • ensure that providers and buyers receive the quality of service that you aim to provide;
  • present a professional image of your business. Our use of plain English helps ensure that providers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language;
  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier;
  • protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that set out exactly how providers can interact with your website, and what they cannot do);
  • protect your business from complaints about content that your buyers posted - particularly important if buyers can post product information or interact with providers without you actively monitoring every post or message.

Similar templates

This document provides only the terms between you and your providers. You will need a matching document that regulates the relationship with buyers.

Provisions you will need for buyers vary more than those for providers. So while this document covers many types of service, we offer several “buyer side” versions. The most appropriate “twins” for this document are Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access or Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer side.

If you are in any doubt as to which T&C template you should choose, please contact us.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, provision of service, liabilities and risk. By and large, you can set the terms you want, to match your business model. The document can be edited easily so that it reflects exactly how your business works. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely, and what we don't advise changing.

This template allows you to comply with the raft of consumer protection legislation.

Contents of this terms and conditions

This document includes terms relating to:

  • Basis of contract between your business and a provider;
  • Providers’ licence and permission for you to handle their material;
  • Conditions of product placement;
  • Customer complaints to provider;
  • Selling procedure;
  • Payment for sales made;
  • Advertising the service;
  • Provider warranties;
  • Extensive options as to what a provider may or may not do on your website;
  • Website security;
  • Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights;
  • Interruption to service;
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability;
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business.

Over 2,600 words of drafting notes to help you.

Sample website terms and conditions templateFront cover

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