Overview of Terms of Use


What is this document?

A Terms of Use is an agreement that governs a customer’s use of a website, and any product or service delivered through that website.


When would I use this document?

A Terms of Use is used when products or services are delivered through a website. It is placed on the website by the owner of the site. If the product or service is something that will be licensed to the user, eg. software as a service (SAAS), an End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) would be used.


Who signs this agreement?

This document is part of a website, and is not physically signed by the user of the website. Most Terms of Use provide that a user of the site or customer of the product or service accepts the Terms of Use by using the product or service. In some cases, the user or customer must explicitly accept the Terms of Use on a website before using the product or service.


More details about this document

A Terms of Use is a one-sided Agreement in favour of the party offering the website, products or services. It is not an agreement that is negotiated by the parties.

The party who provides the website, products or services covered by the Terms of Use is the “Company” and the party using the goods or services is the “Customer”, “User”, or “Subscriber”.

The Term of Use will vary in formality and length depending on the company that is party to the Terms of Use. For example, a Terms of Use for an apparel website will be shorter than a Terms of Use for a software operating system.

Documents that are often used with a Terms of Use include a Privacy Policy and End User Licensing Agreement.


What are the core elements of this document?

The core elements of a Terms of Use include: User Responsibilities; Acceptable Use; Prohibited Use; Customer/Account Obligations; Payment; Waiver; Disclaimers; Amendment; Limitation of Liability and Intellectual Property.

Additional clauses that may be included in a Terms of Use include Termination; Indemnity; Confidential Information; Data Retention; Hardware Requirements; and Return Policy.


Related Documents

Privacy Policy – this is a policy used on a website to set out how private information will be used and protected

End User License Agreement (EULA) – an agreement used to govern the relationship with the end user of a service or product often included on websites

Software Development Agreement – an agreement between the developer of software and the customer who hires the developer to create the software

Merchant Terms of Use – a specialized terms of use between a merchant and a website/app used when the merchant uses the website/app to facilitate transactions with its customers


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