5 Must-Have Legal Requirements When Building a Website

Even though the design aspects of a website are what many people pour their hearts and souls into, there can be much more to website creation than aesthetics. Surprisingly, several legal requirements are just as important, if not more so. Before you put the finishing touches on your new site, take a moment to make sure you’ve covered all bases for these points below.

Terms of Service

If you’re going to be providing a service on your website or believe people will engage with it in some way, having terms of service can be paramount. These are also referred to as terms and conditions, and are a legal agreement between a person using your service or site and you, the site and business owner. To use a service, a person must agree to the terms and conditions. As some of these terms can be quite vague, it’s often worth checking with an internet attorney to ensure your terms of service include everything you legally require.

A Privacy Policy

If you are trying to create the safest and most transparent website for yourself or a client, don’t forget to add a privacy policy. Many website owners choose to include a privacy policy if they gather personal data from website users.

Typically, the policy outlines what data you’re collecting, why you’re collecting it, and what it’s used for. It may not always be a legal requirement, but website visitors appreciate knowing what you do with any information their visit to your site provides.

Copyright Information

A car manufacturer wouldn’t let someone take their car and add their own badge to make it theirs, so it’s fair to assume that website owners don’t like people taking their content and making it theirs, either. To protect yourself, make sure you’ve paid careful attention to the legitimate sourcing of all content present on your site. This can include written content, graphics, and logos.

If you’re not sure what you need to keep your content safe from reproduction, consult a lawyer. It can also be worth doing your research around safe harbor laws to protect yourself from copyright infringement claims.


It might surprise you to learn that rules around accessibility do apply to most websites. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has developed technical specifications, resources, and techniques that make it easy for all web developers to comply. Typically, this is to ensure people with disabilities, older people, those in rural areas, and web users in developing countries do not experience barriers to accessing the online information they require.

Awareness of the Can-Spam Act

The Can-Spam Act is a law that attempts to regulate spam emails. This act prevents businesses that engage in email marketing from sending emails with deceptive or misleading subject headings or sending emails after being explicitly told not to.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of the Can-Spam Act when connecting your website to your emails to ensure you don’t end up on the wrong side of the law.

There can be much involved in building a new website, such as logo creation, coding, and content. However, many behind-the-scenes features require just as much effort. Don’t forget to learn about your legal obligations to keep your customers as well-informed, safe, and secure as possible.

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