Businesses often use agreements that others have created for things like software licensing, web terms and conditions, customer agreements, privacy policies and HR policies.
That can be dangerous. Just because an agreement works for Microsoft or Google doesn’t mean it fits your situation. Using these as a guide or rough draft can’t hurt – but using them without a critical review of whether they work for your situation is fraught with risk.
Here are 7 reasons someone else’s document won’t work for you
- US based limitation of liability clauses usually miss a key Canadian concept that can limit its effectiveness.
- Limitations of liability may not be effective in different jurisdictions. In the UK, for example, limitations of liability are in practice unenforceable.
- For things like privacy policies, being compliant with privacy laws involves far more than just sticking up a policy. And there are often significant differences in the laws behind them.
- That DMCA copyright notice in US based web terms is meaningless in Canadian law.
- Different business models and facts can require very different terms. For example, are the services aimed at children? Is the product software, or is it an online service?
- Large corporations tend to use longer, more complex, wordier agreements than are really necessary. People accept those from large corporations because it seems to go with the territory, but is that what you want to put in front of your customers?
- There is a risk that the document won’t address an issue that is unique to your business or jurisdiction.