Bayo Folarin
(tech-startup owner, FolaTech):
“Hello Senator, a quick one please. I need you to prepare a Terms
of Service for my app. We need it in 2 days. Please send us a
pocket-friendly invoice—we have a very tight budget. Can you start working
on the Terms today? We need it in 2 days. You can deliver by Friday,

Me: “Hi Bayo, thanks for contacting me to work
on your Terms of Service. The delivery schedule is pretty
tight. But IF you can deliver to us by 2pm today the details we need
to complete the Terms of Service, we will do our best to deliver by 2pm

Bayo Folarin: “Great then, That’s no problem. Here are the
details: The name of the app is Lander and the company is FolaTech Ltd. I will
email the company address and company-registration number to you in a few

Me: “Bayo, thanks for the quick response but we will
require more details than that. Can you please email to me details of your app
business, including information about your target users, affiliates,
third-party arrangements, intellectual property you control, in-app advertising
model, privacy, app-community restrictions (if any), security & safety
measures for users, and any other information you think would be useful to us.
Hello, Tecky. Are you there?”

Bayo Folarin: Ah! All that and you want them this week! Ermmm, …. you
see the problem is that we don’t have those things ready yet. We just need the
Terms of Service by Friday. I can send you the Terms we already copied from a
similar app in South Africa. Please use it.”

Me: (Dazed)

If you are one of those
app-based or online-based businesses that “copy and paste” terms of
services from “similar” apps or sites, PLEASE STOP. 

Terms of Service can make or
mar your entire business. It’s in fact your whole business. It’s not just
“one of those things”. Many startups often get it wrong, right from
the start. Don’t.

Along with a Privacy Policy, Terms of Service is
everything. I wrote about “How to Protect Your e-Commerce Site with Terms
and Conditions” some 2 years ago on Nigerian Law Today. You can read it up
here. I will
be sharing more insights on how to get your Terms of Service right on Infusion
Lawyers’ blog soon. You will find the subscription form here.

So NEVER start or run any
startup or other business without getting your terms of
service right—right from the beginning, not in the middle of your business
and certainly not at the end, otherwise it might just be the beginning of the
end of your app, online, or offline business.

How do you get terms of
service for your business?

*Bayo Folarin and FolaTech Ltd
are both fictitious names used to illustrate a common line of
conversations I have had with some tech-startup owners who need terms of

Senator Ihenyen is the Lead Partner of Infusion Lawyers, an IP & IT law firm.

Source: LinkedIn