Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; seller side

These terms are written for a business that operates as an intermediary or market place, joining business or consumer buyers with providers of a service. This T&C template sets out the relationship between your business and the providers who use your website to sell. It gives you best protection against problems with the CC(ICAC) Regulations and extensive notes help you further. As far as possible it insulates you from conflict between your suppliers and clients who order from your website. It also provides legal protection against malicious use of your website and misuse of your intellectual property.

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

These are T&C for a website that acts as an interface between buyers and providers of a service. They regulate the relationship between your business and service providers who use your website to sell.

You could operate openly as a market or you could ostensibly be a review site where you promote particular services. You could charge the provider (as provided for in this document) or you could provide your market place service free and take advertising revenue. You may be a membership site where buyers subscribe.

The nature of the services offered is not important. Your site could create a marketplace between providers of services such as gardening or personal fitness training with consumers, or services such as website design or consultancy with businesses.

This document serves two main purposes.

First it protects you in law from a huge array of potential problems arising from disputes between your provider and his client. 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 you sell only to business, you can easily remove the provisions relating to the Regulations.

Secondly, it enables you to set out how your website works to benefit the provider. You will benefit from having standard terms for all providers so that a buyer can return to your site on multiple occasions and buy from a different provider without the terms being markedly different.

This document is suitable for a marketplace site that sells any type of service. It is possible that some of the providers who use your market place service also have their own contract with each client you introduce. You may need to provide for that in your website structure and your terms. If so, please contact us.

Is this template suitable for your website?

This template is ideal for a website that:

  • sells services of other third party providers anywhere in the world
  • connects buyers with service providers
  • provides payment facilities, collects taxes and fees and passes on to the provider the net sales value
  • has providers that pay you either by commission or by a transaction fee
  • either allows providers to upload their own product pages or product advertisements or instructs you to do that for them
  • provides a marketing service to providers
  • has either regular providers who operate their business from your site continuously, or allows one-off sales

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 providers should act and behave;
  • ensure that providers 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 providers 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 providers can interact with your website, and what they cannot do);
  • protect your business from complaints about content that your providers posted - particularly important if can post service information or interact with buyers without you actively monitoring every post or message.

Similar templates

This document sets out the terms of use for your providers, and the obligations that a provider has, to a buyer who comes through your website.

This is one of the two T&C documents you'll need if you operate a website that provides a marketplace. Because each marketplace website has its own business model, we provide separate agreements for terms with buyers and providers.

Provisions you will need for buyers vary more than those for service providers. So while this document covers many types of service, we offer several buyer side versions. The complementary template that provides terms for buyers can be found at Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer side.

If buyers are required to subscribe (or become members) of your site before they can access the marketplace, then Website terms and conditions template: marketplace for services; buyer subscribes for access; and 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, to match your business model. The document can be edited easily so that it reflects exactly how your business works. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely, and what we don't advise changing.

This template allows your providers to comply with the raft of consumer protection legislation.

We assume that both providers and their customers will have access to your website for one or more reasons such as:

  • to upload their own marketing text and images
  • to place adverts; to contribute to forums
  • to communicate with each other
  • to resolve disputes
  • to give testimonials
  • to communicate with you

We have therefore provided very wide ranging protection. This may be more than you need, but you can easily edit out what you don't need.

Contents of this document

This template includes provisions that cover both the relationship between the provider and the buyer and the relationship between your business and the service providers.

This document includes terms relating to:

  • Basis of contract between your business and a provider;
  • Providers' licence and permission for you to handle their material;
  • Conditions of product placement;
  • Customer complaints to provider;
  • Selling procedure;
  • Payment for sales made;
  • Advertising the service;
  • Provider warranties;
  • Extensive options as to what a provider may or may not do on your website;
  • Website security;
  • Protection of copyright and other intellectual property rights;
  • Interruption to service;
  • Disclaimers and limitation of liability;
  • Miscellaneous legal matters to protect your business;
  • Over 2,600 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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