3 Common Legal Mistakes To Avoid When DIY-ing Your Legal Policies
Around here, I talk a LOT about implementing certain legal policies in your business and it’s for good reason.
Legal policies are the thing that protect your brand and business so that you can keep doing more of what you love and keep more of your hard earned money while doing it.
Many times I find that when people are first starting out in business, they will either skip the legal policies altogether (which is a BIG no no) or try to DIY them.
And if you’re the DIY type, that’s totally cool. You just want to make sure that you aren’t missing any of the important information and that your policies are written clearly and concisely.
What I wouldn’t recommend? Conducting a quick Google search and piecing together a legal policy from that alone.
There’s a few mistakes you want to avoid, so if you’re not keen to purchasing all of the legal policies you need – even though I’ve made it super simple for you with plug and play templates for almost every legal policy you may need 😏– consider the following when drafting your policies. ⬇️
3 Legal Mistakes To Avoid When Crafting Legal Policies For Your Business
1. Incomplete or Inaccurate Policies
When it comes to crafting a legally sound policy for your business, it's important that the policy addresses very specific needs.
And oftentimes when you opt to use generic templates or boilerplate policies, you might miss addressing the unique aspects of your business.
Your businesses run and and operate differently, which means that your legal agreements will likely be different, too.
Additionally, DIY-ing your legal policies could lead to inaccuracy in compliance. Laws change a LOT, especially in areas like data protection, employment, and consumer rights, which means that your policies need to reflect the most accurate information for each of those.
Overall, it’s important to understand what’s required of YOUR specific business and make sure that all of those things are included throughout each policy.
2. Using Unclear or Ambiguous Language
Simply put, legal policies need to be specific and clear.
Using vague language or ambiguity can lead to misinterpretation ultimately causing legal disputes and other massive headaches for you as a business owner. It's essential to use precise terminology and articulate clauses clearly to avoid confusion.
Additionally, policies that don’t align with actual practices or operations can create further confusion and undermine their effectiveness.
Overall, your policies should reflect the reality of how your business operates!
3. Ignoring Professional Legal Review
Even if you’re DIY-ing your legal policies instead of choosing to use templates that are already legally backed, you’ll still want to have your policies legally reviewed by a professional!
Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about *having* contracts and legal agreements in place. It’s about making sure that they’re legit and can actually support you effectively.
Relying solely on DIY methods without consulting a legal professional can be a risky move. A lawyer's review ensures your policies are legally sound, compliant with regulations, and effectively protect your business.
Failing to consult with a legal expert can expose your business to risks, lawsuits, or regulatory penalties – all of which NO business owner has time for, right?!
The Best Way To Legally Protect Your Business
The first and best way to legally protect your business is knowing WHAT legal policies and agreements you even need in the first place.
Generally speaking, all businesses typically need:
An agreement like this is the first layer of protection for your content that essentially says, “Hey! You can’t steal my stuff and here’s how you can use my website.”
This is a legally binding agreement between you and ALL of your website visitors that typically covers topics like if or how they can use your website images (including your logo), how they can backlink to your website and even how they can quote your blogs.
This agreement also helps limit your liability for any possible errors, such as typos or technical glitches.
Most privacy policies are fairly similar and include information such as:
- A detailed list of what personal information is collected
- How that information is collected, used and protected
- What rights the user has to the information they share
If you don’t disclose how you use consumer data like cookies, ad tracking and collecting email addresses, you can subject yourself to some pretty hefty fines – we’re talking up to $7500 per instance! 🥴
$50 now to save you $7500 or MORE in the future? It’s a no brainer!
3️⃣ Terms of Purchase / Service
Lastly, you want to ensure that you have a Terms of Purchase / Service Agreement that sets the rules for how your product or service can be used.
Not only does a Terms of Purchase Agreement cover how someone can use the product or service they purchase, but it also should cover policies that are a part of the purchase process, such as refunds, chargebacks or cancellations.
This type of agreement is often referred to as “Terms and Conditions”and you’ve likely seen these in action during your own purchases with various businesses.
Most businesses have the “I agree to these Terms and Conditions…” checkbox at checkout, which means that you’re actively agreeing to the terms the business has set up.
That little checkbox that you might be familiar with is called a “clickwrap” in the legal world and is the exact way that I advise business owners to display their terms.
When you set your terms as a clickwrap (NOT a browsewrap), your agreements are more enforceable if any legal action is ever needed!
When it comes to implementing Terms of Purchase for your online business, you want to make sure you’re including all of the applicable clauses to fully protect yourself – and if you don’t know what those things are, I’ve combined it all for you with THIS template!
The next best way to legally protect your brand and business? Actually implementing each of these policies!
Whether you’re a die hard DIY-er or prefer to take a more simple approach with ready to use templates, my hope is that you feel empowered to legally protect your business from top to bottom.
If you’re in search of more legal help, there’s a few ways I can help:
- Contracts – need custom contracts for your business? I’ve got you! Need a few contract templates for your business? I’ve got those too. Click here to shop The Boutique Lawyer Contract Shop for all your needs.
- Trademarking – ready to legally protect your business with a trademark? Click here to start the process with a consultation!
- Membership – ready to build the brand of your dreams on a solid legal foundation without always wondering, “is this the right way to [insert every little move you make]?” That’s what the Business to Brand Membership is all about!