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The ultimate list of 8 Must-Haves for Terms of Service in your SaaS business

Terms of Service is not just another legal document. It’s much more than that. That’s one of these documents that has to be obligatorily available on each SaaS’ website. And it has to be good. Really good.

Why is it so important to have really good Terms of Service on your website?

Simply because that’s an agreement. Agreement between you (as a SaaS owner) and your customers (users of your SaaS app). An agreement that has to outline what you offer and on what conditions. An agreement that has to protect both of you. Your users and you, as a business owner.

Let me present you a list of things that you absolutely need to have in the Terms of Service of your SaaS application.

Description of your app

Describe what you offer on your website, what your SaaS does exactly, what users get from you once they sign up to your application. Try to describe here as much as you can. You don’t need to list each of the functionalities of your SaaS, but try to point out the most important ones. Let’s say you offer an email marketing platform. What could you put in here?

For instance:

Your name and address

Tell your users who you are. What the name of your company is, what kind of company you are (e.g. limited liability company, joint-stock company, some kind of partnership), where your company is incorporated, under what laws etc. Also put here some of your company numbers (e.g. Tax Identity Number, VAT ID).

They want to know who you are. They want to know with whom they are doing business.

If they know who you are, you will be much more trustworthy in their eyes and they will be more willing to use your services and pay for them.

Technical requirements

There is no chance that your SaaS will work exactly the same on each computer, operating system or web browser. There are too many different engines up there. So you need to focus on some of them and try to build the best possible application that works on these platforms (e.g. only on latest web browsers with JavaScript enabled).

Here is the place to write what kind of web browser or what other technical requirements they need to meet if they want to use your SaaS product.

You protect yourself by describing that in your Terms of Service.

Domain

List all the domains that you have and from which domains your SaaS could be accessible. If your website becomes popular you will find people that will want to personate you e.g. to steal details of the users’ accounts. It’s worth to tell here which domains are yours and which are not.

Payments

Write something more about the payments in your product. What kind of payments you accept (e.g. credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers), who’s your payment service provider and on what basis you charge your users, e.g. one payment at the beginning or some kind of subscription plan and if so – what kind of a plan. Your users have an ability to upgrade their accounts? Write something about that too. Do you offer some additional functionalities (paid separately)? Describe it here too.

Also, write more about tax on goods and services (VAT), if that could change the price for a product (e.g. if you show prices without this tax at your pricing page).

Also I highly recommend to link to your pricing page here, so that users can easily check what’s the price for in your SaaS.

Prohibited practices

There is always something prohibited. For instance everything what violates any applicable local or international laws or the industry good practices. It’s worth to talk about that here. If you see something suspicious on the user’s account – you need to have a possibility to block or permanently delete an account. That’s the place where you should tell about it.

Termination and cancellation

How the users can cancel their account? Or terminate their agreement? On what basis? When? Do they need to write an email to you and say something or they need to click on a link after signing up for the account in your SaaS application?

What about restoring an account? Do you have such a possibility?

Describe how that works in your SaaS.

Returns

That’s always worth a description.

Do you offer something like free trials and no refunds after that?

Or maybe no trials at all and a possibility to refund the whole charged amount or some part of it?

Or maybe you offer returning the money without specifying a reason, at any time?

Describe everything here. First of all, users would know what they should expect in case they want to cancel their account. Second – that can protect you from chargebacks.

Where can I find a really good SaaS Terms of Service?

There are dozens of really good ToSes over there. Just go to one of the well-know SaaS website and click on “Terms of Use”, “Terms of Service” or “Terms & Conditions” link. Probably you will find it in a footer of the website.


That’s the first post of Build a great global SaaS business series – the brand new blog post series on Across the Board. Want to know more? We will publish much much more in the near future. Subscribe to our newsletter or hashtag #GlobalSaaS on Twitter and be first to know.

Have some additional questions? Or maybe an idea for a next blog post about SaaS businesses? Don’t hesitate to tell us about that. On Twitter (remember about #GlobalSaaS in your tweet) or in comments below.

PayLane's CEO with all kind of skills - programming, marketing, team leading and more. A movie lover and snowboard fan. @KarolZielinski

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