Why Every Entrepreneur Needs a Website Legal Disclaimer
Today I have a quick legal tip to help you keep the drama away. That’s our motto this year, right?
Drama-free in 2024!
Alright, let’s dive in with two quick questions:
- Do you have a website?
- Do you currently have a Website Disclaimer published on it?
If you answered yes to both, YAY!! 🎉🎉🎉
I’m so proud of you for having this key legal component already. I suggest taking a quick peek to make sure everything is clear and up to date.
If you answered yes to #1 but no (or I’m not sure?) to #2, then this part’s for you!
What is a Website Disclaimer?
Good question! People toss around the word disclaimer often but aren’t always clear on what it actually means.
Let me explain with a simple example. You and I walk into your living room and see a giant grape juice stain on the new white rug. 😱
Your first question is Who spilled this?
I can either say: me, I spilled it, I take responsibility, aka, I CLAIM responsibility.
Or, I can say: it wasn’t me, I didn’t spill it, I DISCLAIM responsibility.
In your business, whenever you teach anything, give advice, share tips on social media or via email, you are making yourself vulnerable to someone using that advice, getting a negative outcome, and then coming back to blame you.
Having a DISCLAIMER lets people know that you are not legally responsible for the actions your clients and website visitors take, and that you can’t be blamed if someone applies (or misapplies) information from you or your website.
Basically, it puts your website visitors and clients on notice that they are responsible for their own actions, and it’s up to them to determine whether your information is applicable to them or not.
Who needs one?
Anyone doing business who has a website. Yes, really!
Can you give me an example?
Of course! Your disclaimer is like a very important asterisk declaring something like:
*I am not a medical professional
*Working with me is not a guarantee of results or future earnings
*This is not an attorney-client relationship
*My marketing advice does not guarantee your launch success
*Consult a qualified CPA before acting on the financial education I provide…etc, etc, etc.
How does this disclaimer protect me?
Your disclaimer tells people what you DO, and more importantly, what you DON’T do. It defines what capacity you’re working in, and what capacity you are NOT working in. A good disclaimer should clearly outline whether you are a licensed professional or not (aka, a health coach ≠ a doctor, therefore cannot provide medical advice).
It differentiates between professional advice and education. The legal tips I share here and on social media? They are for education NOT legal advice.
Anyone who works in the wellness industry definitely needs to state that they are not qualified to diagnose, treat, heal or cure any illness or disorder.
If you do any mindset work with your clients, it’s vital that you are crystal clear that you’re not a licensed therapist or counselor. That way, they understand that you are not providing mental health services
If you provide marketing advice or services, you need to explicitly state that your work and/or information is not a guarantee of future earnings.
The key piece to this is that, when you are protected with a solid legal disclaimer, you can feel free to show up online with confidence. You know that the things you say, share and put out into the world aren’t going to be used against you in a negative way. And if someone tries…well, you have a rock solid legal foundation to quickly and easily handle it, sans any drama or fear.
What if I don’t have a disclaimer yet?
Don’t panic! But do take action ASAP so you don’t get yourself into any legal hot water.
You can grab my customizable template here, or better yet, you can grab the Legal Foundations Bundle and save yourself loads of $$ and headaches! It includes 10 foundational agreements you need to keep your business protected, including a 1:1 client agreement, testimonial release, and more.