If you run an online business, Terms and Conditions are essential.

Terms and Conditions prescribe the way in which your business sells its goods and/or services to customers and clients including how online users interact with and use your website, social media sites or apps. They provide the seller and buyer with an understanding of where everyone stands. If you don’t have Terms and Conditions, you leave yourself and your business exposed to complaints, disputes and, potentially, legal action.

So, whether you’re selling baked goods online, providing bookkeeping services or just blogging, here are 3 rules about online Terms and Conditions in Australia that you should be aware of.

  1. Make them available/accessible

Just like a paper agreement, if a business can show that a website user had notice of the online Terms and Conditions [even if they are difficult to find], the Terms and Conditions will be enforceable. This should immediately provide an online business with confidence that they can rely on their terms of trade.

Have the Terms and Conditions accessible and available for viewing. At the very least have them available for download, although, the preferable way to present your Terms and Conditions for viewing and acceptance on your website, is to use a ‘wrap’ style format. These formats force the user to a hyperlink or to scroll through to a ‘click to agree’ button. Then, if there is a complaint or dispute, you can always rely on the fact that the user was aware of your Terms and Conditions. You should also be aware that your website developer may not always know the law in this regard.

  1. Make them relevant/compliant

Your online Terms and Conditions need to be compliant with Australian Consumer Law (ACL) and Australian standards as well as meeting the conditions of your industry. As such it is essential that your Terms and Conditions are, at the very least, Australian.

The ACL applies to all Australian businesses, including those online. It covers general standards of business conduct in particular, consumer guarantees and unfair practices and other basic business practices that all businesses in Australia must comply with. Your Terms and Conditions do not exempt you from your obligations under the ACL.

Also avoid solely relying on point-of-sale systems like Shopify. Your online business will potentially have different and additional requirements.

What Terms and Conditions should do is acknowledge the ACL and provide the user with information particular to your business such as the use of your Intellectual Property, delivery of your product or service and cancellation policies.

  1. Make them work/protect your business

Make sure they are in plain English and can be understood by the user. It is always best to purchase Terms and Conditions from an Australian legal practitioner or, better still, seek assistance from your local solicitor, that way, the Terms and Conditions can be designed specifically for your type of business [and, I promise, we are approachable!].

Finally, make sure that your Terms and Conditions are designed to protect you and the business that you’ve worked so hard to create. They should limit your liability and dictate the rules of the sale and/or service you will be providing. You should know what is in them and how they shape the relationship you have with your users.


Terms and Conditions are more than a requirement, they are an invaluable investment. Contact Lara Legal to book a consultation or for a quote to have your Terms and Conditions, or any other online legal agreement, prepared or reviewed.

Lara Legal specialises in commercial and business law and is based on the Gold Coast, Australia. Visit: https://laralegal.com.au/