Protect your business with proper disclosures & disclaimers

Display marks and notices to earn trust

Earn the trust of customers, partners, industry and government by displaying credentials of compliance and disclosures of affiliations as well as trademarks and copyrights to appropriately safeguard your organization.

Post appropriate notices to protect products, intellectual property, copyrights and trademarks conspicuously on web sites. Certain products and services require additional notices, depending upon category. Document legal and other compliance: PCI when processing credit cards, HIPAA for covered entities and business associates and a privacy notice to share how your company uses personal data it collects.

Disclosures required by the FTC include mentions of participation in affiliate programs and promotional consideration. Amazon provides specific language in the terms of its affiliate agreement that must be posted without alteration. Bloggers, for instance, must reveal compensation for reviews. Web sites must document text that is not obviously an ad; social media messages might use #ad to clarify an affiliation.

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

Make sure to give sources appropriate attribution as well. For instance, the image of the sign reading “Disclosure” in this post, while it was available for free, had a Creative Commons License that required attribution, specifically CC BY-SA 3.0 Nick Youngson. Some make the task fit the personality of their site, i.e. Chris Brogan’s affiliate disclosure says “If you buy this from me, I get some beer money (not enough for a pony).”

With that said, here is one of mine:

Disclaimer:  This article is intended to be a general resource only and is not intended to be nor does it constitute legal advice.  Any recommendations are based on personal, not professional, opinion only. Be sure to consult an attorney to address specific needs.

One more time–with feeling–while there are many templates online that may be adapted, the best course is to discuss all aspects of business activities thoroughly with counsel.

Read more:

FTC Blogger Guidelines

How to handle disclosure with blog posts and social media messages

Ways you can disclose endorsements

Free Privacy Policy Generator


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