Whether you’re an individual affiliate, or you’ve just become an affiliate company, you are on your way to building incredible partnerships and developing mutually beneficial relationships. However, before you can get started, there are a few things you need to take care of first.
One of the most important is creating Terms and Conditions for your affiliates. This document will outline both parties’ expectations and responsibilities and help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.
Why Do You Need a Terms and Conditions Agreement?
Essentially, this document sets clear expectations for both parties, protecting your business. A Terms and Conditions agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your affiliates.
This document will protect both parties by clearly stating the rules, rights, and obligations. Having a clear and concise Terms and Conditions agreement is crucial to smooth partnerships.
What Should You Include in Your Terms and Conditions Agreement?
Every business is different, so it is important to tailor your agreement to fit your specific needs. Nonetheless, every Terms and Conditions agreement should include several key elements. Here are the top 10 things to include in your agreement:
1. A Description of the Affiliate Program
The first thing you should include in your Terms and Conditions agreement is a description of the affiliate program. This section should include how the program works, the requirements for affiliates, and what they can expect from the program. Additionally, this is a good place to include any rules or restrictions that apply to the program.
2. Eligibility Requirements
Your Terms and Conditions Agreement should outline the eligibility requirements for affiliates. This provision will help ensure that only those who are qualified and able to meet the criteria can participate in the program. Some things that you may want to include in this section are:
- The geographical location of the affiliate. This requirement can be helpful if you are only looking for affiliates in a particular area or looking for international affiliates.
- The type of website that the affiliate must have. For example, you may require that the affiliate have a personal blog or a website dedicated to a specific topic.
- The minimum amount of traffic that the affiliate must have. It ensures that only those with a significant audience are eligible to participate.
- Any other requirements that you feel are necessary. These could include having an active social media presence or being willing to promote your product regularly.
By including these requirements in your Terms and Conditions agreement, you can help ensure that only genuinely interested and qualified people can participate in your affiliate program.
3. The Commissions Structure and Payment Schedule
This section gives details about the compensation affiliates will receive for their participation in the program. You can pay affiliates in several ways, such as a flat rate per sale, a percentage of the total sale amount, or a set amount for each lead generated.
Affiliates should also be aware of any minimum sales thresholds to achieve to receive a commission payout. This section should also include a clear explanation of payment terms.
Finally, affiliates should know when they can expect to receive their commissions. In case of delays, affiliates should be notified beforehand. By including this information in the Terms and Conditions Agreement, affiliates will know what to expect from the program. There will be no surprises down the road.
4. Promotional Guidelines
The next thing to include in your Terms and Conditions agreement is the promotional guidelines. This section should outline what affiliates are allowed to do to promote your products or services.
Remember, you want to give your affiliates enough rope to hang themselves with, but not so much that they damage your brand. For example, you may want to state that affiliates are only permitted to use approved marketing materials and that they must adhere to your brand guidelines.
By including these types of provisions in your agreement, you can help ensure that your affiliates will promote your business in a way that is consistent with your brand identity.
A termination clause is an important part of any Terms and Conditions agreement. It sets out the circumstances under which either party may terminate the agreement. In the absence of a termination clause, either party would have to perform their obligations under the agreement even if they no longer wished to.
Therefore, it is essential to include a termination clause in your Terms and Conditions agreement to give both parties the flexibility to terminate the agreement if necessary.
Some important things to consider when drafting a termination clause are:
- Grounds for termination
- Notice period
- Consequences of terminating the agreement early
By including these key elements in your termination clause, you can help to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes if either party decides to terminate the agreement.
6. Compliance with Law
It’s important to include a provision requiring affiliates to comply with all applicable laws and regulations. This provision ensures that everyone who participates in your affiliate program is playing by the rules and helps to protect your business from potentially costly legal problems.
But, of course, you can’t control what your affiliates do. Still, this provision clarifies that you expect them to operate lawfully and that you’re not willing to tolerate any illegal activity.
7. Prohibited Content
Any business with an online presence should have a provision in their terms and conditions prohibiting affiliates from promoting their company or products on sites containing offensive or illegal content.
This provision is important for two reasons. First, it protects the business from being associated with offensive or unlawful content.
Second, it protects the business from any legal liability that might arise from such promotion. For example, if an affiliate were to promote a company’s products on a site that contained incriminating content, the company could be held liable for aiding and abetting the distribution of illegal content.
By including a provision prohibiting affiliates from promoting their company or products on offensive or illegal sites, businesses can help protect themselves from legal liability and maintain a positive public image.
8. Prohibited Online Marketing Activities
It’s no secret that spamming and other forms of online marketing abuse are major problems. They not only damage the reputation of the companies involved, but they also make it difficult for customers to trust any company that uses these tactics.
That’s why it’s important to have a provision prohibiting affiliates from engaging in these activities. By doing so, you can help to ensure that your company’s online presence is positive and trustworthy. In addition, you’ll be able to protect your customers from being bombarded with unwanted spam messages.
This provision specifies that the business is not responsible for any damages or losses incurred by affiliates as a result of promoting the business or its products.
It also protects the business from potential liability if an affiliate is sued or otherwise held responsible for damages resulting from their promotion of the business. Furthermore, this provision can help to limit the business’s financial exposure in the event that an affiliate engages in false or misleading advertising.
The enforcement provision specifies how the terms of the agreement will be enforced. This provision is important because it sets forth the expectations of both parties and establishes a process for resolving any disputes that may arise.
Incorporate this provision, and you can help ensure the affiliates follow your agreement and disputes will be settled in an orderly and fair manner.
Other Important Provisions
There are several other important provisions that you may want to consider including in your company’s Terms and Conditions Agreement.
Confidentiality and Survival Clauses
A confidentiality clause would prohibit affiliates from disclosing confidential information about the company, such as trade secrets or marketing plans. A survival clause would specify that the terms of the agreement remain in effect even after termination of the agreement.
Limitation of Liability
This provision would limit the amount of money that an affiliate can recover if they sue the company for breach of contract.
Governing law would specify which state’s laws will govern the interpretation of the agreement.
This provision would prohibit affiliates from assigning their rights and obligations under the agreement to another party.
It’s vital to include a clause about commission approval, one that includes a stipulation that commissions are only approved after they pass necessary verifications. If a commission ends up being charged back, refunded, or otherwise canceled, you don’t want to have paid out a commission. This protects you from paying for commissions that fall through.
This provision would specify that if any part of the agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of the agreement will still be valid and enforceable.
While these are just a few of the important provisions you should consider including in your company’s Terms and Conditions Agreement, there may be others specific to your business.
How To Sign a Terms and Conditions Agreement Digitally
The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) determines that electronic signatures are as legally binding as on-paper signatures, and is enforced in all American states barring Washington, New York, and Illinois. These states have their own federal laws in place that stipulate the validity of electronic signatures.
Often, electronic signatures comprise of simply the signer’s name. While this may be acceptable for some companies, it is necessary to explicitly mention whether this will be acceptable or not in your terms and conditions agreement.
The safest way to ensure no legal issues with an electronic signature is to include a clause which explicitly mentions if these will be accepted, and what form(s) the signature may take.
Now that you know the ten things to include in your affiliate terms and conditions agreement, you can create your own or revise an existing agreement.
Keep in mind that this agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your affiliates, so be sure to have it reviewed by a lawyer before finalizing anything. And don’t forget to update your agreement regularly as your business grows and changes. By taking the time to create a well-written and comprehensive agreement, you’ll set yourself up for success in the world of affiliate marketing.
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In addition to being an editor for iDevAffiliate, Alex is a Digital marketer, SEO and PPC expert, copywriter and UX/UI consultant with tracked working experience since 2006. Tireless marketing learner, experimenter, analyst and practitioner. Holder of Master Degree in Applied Linguistics.