The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer to Draft Website Terms and Conditions

The Importance of Hiring a Lawyer to Draft Website Terms and Conditions

Whether you’re selling products, offering services, or simply providing information, having a well-crafted set of terms and conditions for your website is crucial. However, many business owners overlook a critical aspect – legal review. These legal documents are often underestimated but play a pivotal role in protecting you, your business, and your customers. Below are a few reasons why you should hire an attorney to – at the very least – review and approve your terms and conditions. 

Legal Compliance

One of the primary reasons to hire a lawyer for website terms and conditions is to ensure legal compliance. Laws and regulations governing websites can vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another. A skilled attorney can navigate this complex landscape and draft terms and conditions that align with local, state, and federal laws, as well as international regulations if your website caters to a global audience. This will help shield your business from potential legal disputes and penalties.

Protection of Intellectual Property

Your website may contain valuable intellectual property such as copyrighted content, trademarks, or proprietary software. A lawyer can help you include clauses in your terms and conditions that clearly define your ownership rights and the rules for using your intellectual property. This safeguards your assets and reduces the risk of intellectual property theft or infringement.

User Guidelines and Behavior

Website terms and conditions serve as a rulebook for users, outlining acceptable behavior, prohibited activities, and consequences for violations. By working with a lawyer, you can craft comprehensive guidelines that protect your website from abusive users, spammers, and hackers. Additionally, these guidelines can help maintain a respectful online community, enhancing the user experience.

Limitation of Liability

In today’s litigious society, businesses often find themselves facing lawsuits, even for minor issues. A lawyer can include clauses in your terms and conditions that limit your liability, provided it’s legally permissible. These limitations can be essential in protecting your business from excessive legal claims and potential financial ruin.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes can arise between your business and its website users. A lawyer can help you establish clear dispute resolution procedures within your terms and conditions. Whether through arbitration or mediation, having a structured process in place can save your business time and money in the event of a disagreement.

Privacy and Data Protection

With growing concerns about data privacy and security, it’s crucial to address these issues in your website terms and conditions. A lawyer can assist in drafting a privacy policy that complies with applicable data protection laws, ensuring the proper collection, use, and protection of user data. This builds trust with your customers and helps avoid legal trouble related to data breaches.

Regular Updates

Laws, regulations, and your business model can evolve over time. A lawyer can ensure that your website terms and conditions stay up-to-date, reflecting any changes in the legal landscape or your business operations. Regular reviews and updates are essential to maintain legal compliance.

In the digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for businesses. However, this presence must be built on a solid legal foundation, which includes well-drafted website terms and conditions. Hiring a lawyer to assist with this task is a prudent investment that can protect your business, your customers, and your intellectual property while ensuring legal compliance. Don’t underestimate the importance of these legal documents, as they can be a safeguard against potential legal pitfalls in the online world.

Sentient Law, Ltd.’s Sean Lanagan is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional and can help your business craft or review your company’s terms and conditions. Don’t delay. Schedule a free consultation today here.



The Essential Role of an Attorney in Crafting Your Website Privacy Policy

The Essential Role of an Attorney in Crafting Your Website Privacy Policy

In today’s interconnected digital landscape, a website’s privacy policy serves as a crucial document that outlines how user data is collected, processed, and protected. With data privacy concerns on the rise and regulations becoming more stringent, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), businesses must prioritize safeguarding user information. While it might be tempting to take the DIY route when drafting a privacy policy, hiring an attorney to undertake this task offers numerous benefits that far outweigh the initial cost.

  1. Legal Expertise and Compliance: Attorneys possess a deep understanding of the complex legal requirements surrounding data protection and privacy. They stay up-to-date with the evolving landscape of privacy regulations, ensuring your privacy policy is compliant with the latest laws. Relying on their expertise minimizes the risk of legal challenges, fines, and reputational damage stemming from non-compliance.

  2. Tailored to Your Business: A generic privacy policy template may not adequately address the specific data practices of your business. Attorneys take the time to understand your operations, data collection methods, and processing procedures, allowing them to craft a policy that accurately reflects your unique needs and practices.

  3. Precise Language and Terminology: Legal documents demand a level of precision that can be challenging for non-lawyers to achieve. Attorneys are adept at using precise language and terminology to clearly communicate your data handling processes and user rights, reducing the potential for misinterpretation or confusion.

  4. Risk Mitigation: A well-crafted privacy policy can serve as a shield against potential legal disputes. By outlining your data collection, storage, and usage practices transparently, you demonstrate your commitment to data privacy and minimize the chances of user complaints or legal action.

  5. Customized Disclosures: Depending on the nature of your business and the types of data you collect, certain specialized disclosures may be required. Attorneys can tailor your privacy policy to include necessary information, such as details about third-party data sharing, cookies, and cross-border data transfers.

  6. Adaptability to Changes: As your business grows or privacy laws evolve, your privacy policy may need updates. Attorneys can draft policies with built-in flexibility, making it easier to accommodate changes while maintaining legal compliance.

  7. Confidence for Users: A professionally crafted privacy policy instills confidence in your users. Knowing that their data is handled in a secure and transparent manner can enhance your reputation and encourage user trust.

  8. Easier Integration with Agreements: Privacy policies often need to be integrated with various agreements, such as terms of use and cookie policies. Attorneys ensure that these documents align seamlessly, providing a cohesive user experience and a stronger legal foundation.

  9. Full Understanding of User Rights: Attorneys can ensure that your privacy policy comprehensively explains user rights, including how users can access, update, or delete their data. This level of clarity is essential for building trust with your audience.

  10. Long-Term Value: While hiring an attorney may involve an upfront cost, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment. A well-drafted privacy policy can help you avoid legal pitfalls, establish a positive brand image, and navigate the ever-changing landscape of data protection regulations.

Sentient Law, Ltd.’s Sean Lanagan can help your business craft a privacy policy and terms and conditions. Why wait? Schedule a free consultation now here.



Start Your Dream Business During a Downturn

Slicing Pie and Dynamic Equity: The Best Way to Start Your Dream Business During a Downturn

Many potential clients and current clients have been asking us whether they should pursue their dreams and start their new business despite challenging economic conditions or put their plans on hold. While we understand that it is exceedingly difficult to raise capital and the cost of capital is increasing, we advise everyone to follow their dreams. In fact, in our opinion, challenging economic conditions are the perfect time to start a new business (I have done it) if you are using the right equity allocation model.

What is the right model?

If you are on a limited budget, plan to bootstrap your venture, and are seeking a fair method of sharing equity with your cofounders, dynamic equity is the answer. Mike Moyer, the author of The Slicing Pie Handbook and Will Work For Pie, lays the foundation for perfectly fair equity splits for bootstrapped startups. We have developed a legal framework for limited liability companies that will allow you to start your business with minimal cash investment and fairly and proportionately distribute equity.

How does the model work?

Slicing Pie or dynamic equity provides for both an equity allocation framework as well as a recovery framework. We contractually set initial specific goals for the venture at the outset. Upon founding of the business all uncompensated time, cash contributions, etc. (we call these “Inputs”) that go into the venture are tracked. When the initial specific goals are accomplished we “bake the pie” and enter into a new agreement under which each member’s ownership stake is based on their Inputs as compared to the Inputs provided by everyone.

For example, if Alex and I start a business today and our initial specific goal is to achieve $10k in monthly revenue. Upon reaching said goal, we look at our relative contributions to the venture and determine what percentage of the venture each of us should own at that time.

In other words, instead of the founders of a venture attempting to predict the future (wouldn’t that be nice!), Slicing Pie or dynamic equity provides for a quantitative algorithmic method of equity distribution. This model also provides for a recovery framework in the instance that one of the founders of the venture decides to quit for good reason or no reason at all or is terminated for cause.


There is no time like the present! Slicing Pie and dynamic equity will allow you to follow your dreams and start a new business with a limited amount of cash capital. Click here to schedule a free consultation with us today to discuss how we can help you make the most of challenging times.



How important is it that the governing law be of Country X, as opposed to Country Y?


Choosing which laws govern a contract and where contract disputes, should they arise, will be handled is an important part of contract negotiations. The choice of law and/or forum can present significant advantages to one or both parties. They can also create significant disadvantages, especially when parties and legal systems from different countries are involved. The post below is based on a recent question we answered for a client regarding these exact issues.

For context, the client was based in Country X, and they were negotiating an agreement with a party based in Country Y. The other party required that the laws of their (the other party’s) country, Country Y, will be the laws that govern the contract. As a result, our client wanted to understand what this meant from a legal perspective and how to best proceed. Our client’s question and our answer explaining the issue are below.

While it is not something that would be considered “make or break”, having Country X law as the governing law would be advantageous to you. As a person and a business that are domiciled in Country X, Country X clearly has a much stronger interest in protecting you and your business if something were to happen. Conversely, Country Y law would present the same advantage to the other party since that is where they are based. Another advantage that using Country X’s law creates for you is that you (and any Country X-based legal counsel) are much more familiar with Country X’s laws and how the legal system works in Country X. Thus, if there are ever any issues or you have any future questions, it will be much easier for your legal counsel to research the issue(s), provide you with advice, and, if necessary, represent you in court. While it is not impossible for Country X-based lawyers to research and understand Country Y law, it will likely take significantly more time and work (will need to find out where to look, possibly need to translate from Language Y to Language X, need to familiarize themselves with the court system and legal precedents, likely required to work with local counsel from Country Y if litigation is involved, etc.), which means higher legal fees.

Another aspect to consider when evaluating your choice of law is whether or not you would be able to recover any damages if something were to happen. If you were to choose Country X law, it would likely be very difficult to recover any damages in a Country Y court. The issue here is whether or not a court in Country Y would be able and/or willing to recognize the laws of a foreign country. If they are unwilling and/or unable to recognize Country X law in Country Y, which is definitely a possibility, then you would not have any way to enforce your contract against the other party. If that were the case, you could try to bring suit against them in Country X, but that is also likely to be unsuccessful because it would require them to voluntarily submit to Country X’s jurisdiction. If they refuse to submit to Country X’s jurisdiction, then there isn’t much, if anything (depends on the situation), that could be done.

While Country X law would generally be more advantageous to you, in this situation, Country Y law may be a better bet. If the contract is governed by Country Y law, then you know that the courts in Country Y will be willing and able to adjudicate an issue (as long all of the requirements for litigation are satisfied) if something were to happen. Also, since it is highly unlikely that a foreign entity who is generally not subject to Country X’s laws would submit to Country X’s jurisdiction, using Country Y law could provide a potential pathway for recovering damages through Country Y’s legal system if something were to happen.

In sum, although it is common practice for parties to choose the type of law that governs a contract, international agreements are unique because they usually involve completely separate systems of law. Choosing the law of your home jurisdiction will usually be more beneficial to you because your home jurisdiction (whether it is your country and/or state) will have a greater incentive to protect you and your interests than those of a party from another country or state. However, especially when entering into international agreements, you should consider the potential willingness and ability of a foreign jurisdiction to enforce the law selected in a choice of law provision. This is where local counsel or an attorney with expertise in that particular jurisdiction can really help clarify and explain the nuances of the local legal system in question. Here, although not ideal, we think using Country Y law would be your best option. If something were to happen it would give you a better chance at successfully bringing an action, not necessarily winning (that is dependent on the situation and circumstances), in court than Country X law. Additionally, as we mentioned above, the other party would have to be willing to submit to jurisdiction in a Country X court if Country Y doesn’t recognize Country X law, which we would not expect them to do.