Whether you are a small business owner, blogger, or freelancer, you need legal disclaimers on your website and in this post we’ll be giving you website disclaimer examples. Legal disclaimers help to reduce your legal liability if something happens to your visitors because of any information that’s on your site and they also help you avoid racking up hefty fines from the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”). Disclaimers prevent your visitors from suing you over things like copyright infringement, unmet expectations, cyber-bullying, and more.
In this blog we’ll walk you through 5 examples of disclaimers you may need for your website and provide with a few free templates to help protect you and your business!
What is the purpose of a disclaimer?
A disclaimer is a notice or statement designed to limit the liability of a party associated with the website, such as you (if you are the owner of the website) or other parties (such as your employer or customers). A disclaimer may also inform users of certain risks associated with using the website, such as if it contains adult themes or material that may be offensive to some users. The information in a legal disclaimer may also help protect your intellectual property rights to the content on your website.
How do I write a letter of disclaimer?
A disclaimer should be written in clear and simple language so that it is easy for users to understand what they can and cannot do with your website content.
A disclaimer example on The CEO Legal Loft is:
“The CEO Legal Loft is owned by Michelle W. Murphy, LLC and is not a law firm. Nothing on this website is legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by purchasing or viewing a contract template or purchasing any product on this site. If you have a specific problem and need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney in your state or the state bar.”
Five disclaimer examples of your website
If you discuss the income you’ve made from your product, system or methodology, then you should include an earnings disclaimer on your website. An earnings disclaimer is a statement that tells consumers that the testimonials or success stories that you feature on your website are not typical of what everyone will experience. It lets them know that the results you are promoting are not promised or guaranteed to happen.
You need this type of legal disclaimer because without it, you could be accused of false advertising. The FTC requires that if someone makes a claim about how much money they’ve made using a product or service, an earnings disclaimer must accompany the claim to make it clear that the vast majority of people who buy the product or service may not earn any money at all.
Medical or Legal disclaimer
If you have a blog or website that shares information on ways to promote wellness, tips on how to lose weight or if your site discusses legal issues, you should have a medical disclaimer or legal disclaimer. The purpose of having a medical or legal disclaimer is to inform your audience that the information you are providing is not intended to replace professional medical advice or legal advice.
If you don’t have this type of disclaimer on your site and someone either doesn’t achieve the desired result or gets injured in some way, you may be held liable because you failed to inform them that what they read should not be taken as professional advice. It is very important to remind them that they should consult with their physician or an attorney before following any of your suggestions or using any of your recommendations. In other words, your website is for informational purposes only.
If you are claiming that any of your products and services helped someone overcome an illness or other condition, it would be legally prudent to include a disclaimer stating that this case does not mean that it will work in all cases.
Speaking of testimonials, they are very effective at persuading people to buy your products and services because potential customers trust recommendations from previous customers more than they trust advertising. In fact, one survey found that 70% of respondents trusted consumer opinions posted online.
Testimonials unfortunately can sometimes also get you in trouble if users of your products or services don’t experience the same great results that others have reported.
A testimonial disclaimer is a short statement on your website that states that the results of using your products and services may vary from person to person.
For example, if you run an online weight loss course and a customer’s review says she lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks using your course, someone else might use your course with the expectation that they will lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks too. If they don’t, they might claim that you made false promises about how effective your course was in order to make a sale. It really doesn’t matter whether or not your customer’s testimonial was true.
The solution is to use a testimonial disclaimer along with any testimonials you publish on your website (or elsewhere). A good testimonial disclaimer will disclaim any specific results featured in a testimonial while still standing behind the overall effectiveness of the product or service.
A copyright disclaimer is a notice that disclaims copyright or limits the liability of the copyright holder in relation to the unauthorized use of their copyrighted materials.
The purpose of this type of disclaimer is to inform visitors of your website that they may not copy or use your content without permission.
Copyright disclaimers can be found on websites, in software and other digital media, and even in physical items like books. You can typically find such disclaimers on the bottom of a web page or in the fine print at the end of an agreement.
If anyone tries to steal your content or use it without permission, a copyright disclaimer would give you legal protection.
For example, if someone uses images from your website without your permission, you can take them to court for violating your copyright. If you don’t have a copyright disclaimer however, a visitor could argue that they didn’t even know that they weren’t allowed to use your images without permission.
A copyright notice should include the following information:
* Copyrighted materials are present on this site.
* All rights are reserved, and permission must be asked before using these materials.
* The website owner cannot be held liable for any damages caused by using these materials.
No representations or warranties disclaimer
The “no warranties or representations” disclaimer is a statement which says that you make no promises about the reliability of your website, that you don’t guarantee any particular results from using your site, and the use of your website is at your own risk. These are also known as no responsibility disclaimers. The idea is to protect yourself if someone complains that:
- Your website was down at a crucial time;
- They didn’t like something they read on your site; or
- They bought something on your website and they didn’t get the results they were expecting.
This type of disclaimer is similar to one you might use in an agreement with someone – perhaps a supplier or a business partner. You want to make it clear that you are not making a promise about the quality of service you will provide or the goods you will sell.
Which disclaimer(s) do you need?
The type of disclaimer you need for your website will depend on what you’re offering – whether it’s a product, service, idea or concept. What’s certain though, is that you definitely need some type of legal disclaimer.
If you have no legal education or experience, we know it could be hard to know how to construct a legal disclaimer for your site. Yes, you want to protect yourself (and your brand or business) from lawsuits but at the same time, you also don’t want to come off as inconsiderate. That’s where we come in!
At The CEO Legal Loft, you can get the disclaimer examples we discussed in this post plus legal disclosures for your website. We have 10 templates that have been drafted and approved by a small business attorney.
If you want access to all of our contract templates, including the website disclaimers and disclosures + legal resources like The CEO Legal Kit and LLC Launch, then check out The CEO Legal Loft Membership.