Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access
These T&C have been drawn for a website that creates a marketplace for services between buyers who subscribe for access and sellers. It gives you best protection against problems with the CC(ICAC) Regulations and extensive notes advise you. As far as possible it insulates you from conflict between your suppliers and their clients who order from your website. It also gives you strong legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property. The reason for using a subscription system is not important. An example of a site that might use this template might be one that provides members of the website with access to tradesmen or professionals with whom you have negotiated a discounted price or other deal.
- Solicitor approved
- Plain English makes editing easy
- Guidance notes included
- Money back guarantee
About this website terms and conditions document
This document provides you with a set of terms and conditions for a website that connects members or subscribers with third party sellers of services. These terms are your contract with your buyers.
We include terms that allow you to charge buyers for access to your site on a subscription basis, but if you offer free membership, these terms can be removed easily.
The nature of the services bought is not important. You could be joining buyers and sellers of business to consumer services such as house cleaning or completing personal tax returns, or business to business services such as website design or consultancy.
Examples of the sorts of site that would use these terms
Your site provides registered householders with access to approved tradesmen. In return for taking secure payment online, you take a commission from the tradesmen for each job booked through you. You allow the householders to provide reviews.
You charge a subscription to members of your site for access to information about a particular topic and perhaps to access to a community of similarly interested people. In addition, members receive pre-arranged discounts on services offered by third parties and bought through your site.
So far as the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations are 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 your buyers are all businesses, you can easily remove the provisions relating to the Regulations.
Is this template suitable for your website?
This template is likely to be suitable for your site if:
- your business is based in the UK (the geographical location of your buyers and sellers does not matter)
- you require buyers to join a membership programme (paid or free) to be able to access the market
- you provide payment facilities, collect taxes, fees, payment and reimburse the seller the net sales value
- your sellers pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee
- you either allow sellers to upload their own service marketing pages or product advertisements or instruct you to do that for them
- you provide a marketing service to sellers
- you have either regular sellers (for example, ones that operate their business through your site), or allow one-off sales
- you provide functionality that allows buyers to interact with sellers or with other site visitors. For example, you may provide for service reviews, feedback, forums, or questions to sellers.
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 buyers should act and behave
- ensure that sellers 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 to ensure that sellers 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 buyers 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 interact with sellers without you actively monitoring every post or message
This document only provides the terms between your business and members or subscribers to your marketplace website. You will need a matching document that regulates the relationship with sellers of services.
Note that we do not provide a seller side document that relates specifically to a membership site because membership is not a requirement for the seller.
- The complementary template that provides terms for sellers of services can be found at Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; seller side.
- If your site creates a marketplace for goods rather than services, see Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for goods; buyer side.
- If there are no restrictions on membership before purchase, then Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer side should be suitable.
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, particularly the commercial ones. The document should be edited so that it reflects exactly how your business works. Our guidance notes tell you what you can and cannot change safely.
This template includes provisions allowing your sellers to comply with the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013 while selling to businesses or consumers.
Because buyers are likely to contribute content to your site (such as product reviews, forum posts and comments) we have included a large menu of provisions relating to user contributed content within the sections that form an Acceptable Use Policy.
This template includes provisions that cover both the relationship between the seller and the buyer and the relationship between your business and the buyer.
- Basis of contract between your business and the buyer
- Responsibility of the buyer to provide accurate personal information to you
- The buying and payment procedure
- Membership requirements and provision
- Optional guarantee by you
- Extensive options for re-assurance to customers that you will take care of data
- Option for consumer rights information
- Handling buyer's personal data, credit card and content uploaded or posted
- Very extensive options as to what a buyer may or may not do on your website.
- Removal of offensive content
- Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights
- Termination of membership
- Interruption to service
- Disclaimers and limitation of liability
- Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business
- Over 3,100 words of drafting notes to help you
This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.
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