Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access

These T&C are for a website that offers a market for services where buyers must register or subscribe for access. For example, you might provide access to tradesmen or professionals with whom you have negotiated a discounted price or to services not available elsewhere.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

This is a set of terms, a contract, with members of your website who wish to hire third party sellers of services.

We allow you to charge buyers for access on a subscription basis. If you offer free membership, these provisions can be removed easily.

The nature of the services bought is not important. You could be joining together buyers and sellers of business to consumer services such as house cleaning, or business to business services such as website design or consultancy.

So far as the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations are concerned, we have provided as far as possible for the service providers to be responsible for compliance, so as to minimise the weight on you. If your buyers are all businesses, you can easily remove all the provisions relating to the regulations.

This template is likely to be suitable for your site if:

  • your business is operated from the UK (it doesn't matter where visitors are based)
  • you require buyers to join a membership programme (paid or free)
  • you provide payment facilities, collect taxes, fees, payment and reimburse the seller the net sales value
  • you either allow sellers to upload their own service marketing pages or product advertisements or instruct you to do that for them

Examples of use

Your website 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 website 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 bought through your site.

The benefit of clear terms

Website T&C are an excellent example of where use of plain English strengthens the legal effect of the contract. 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.

These T&C will help you to set out clearly how your business works and how buyers should act and behave, and as a result, prevent misunderstandings and protect your website from misuse.

Similar templates

This document only provides the terms between your business and members or subscribers to your marketplace website. You will need this matching document that regulates the relationship with sellers.

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.

If your site creates a marketplace for goods, see these T&C instead.

If there are no restrictions on membership before purchase, then this version of the same document 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.

This template includes provisions allowing your sellers to comply with the Consumer Contracts (ICAC) Regulations 2013 while selling to businesses or consumers.

Contents

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 the buyer and your business.

Terms include:

  • Definitions
  • Basis of contract with a 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
  • 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

There are also over 3,100 words of drafting notes to help you edit the document to your precise requirements.

Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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