Do I need to make a business’s terms and conditions legal?

UPDATED: Feb 24, 2011

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Do I need to make a business’s terms and conditions legal?

I am about to start a childcare agency. I checked other agencies terms and conditions and I found good phrases, ideas in them. Do they have a copyright on or can I use a couple of phrases from other agencies for free? My second question: Do I need to make my terms and conditions legal? Or any other sample documents (need to fill by the candidate, doctor)? Like medical certificate, character reference, childcare reference ( these are from families, doctor to prove, the candidate is right for the job). Do I need a lawer to check it? In Mobile, AL.

Asked on February 24, 2011 under Business Law, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There are general phrases that are standard in all contracts and using them is not considered stealing or plagiarism.  And borrowing phrases from child care agencies that are well established should be fine.  It is doubtful that you could find anything on line that was protected as a trade secret or unique only to the particular agency.  I would most definitely take it to an attorney to review to make sure that you are in compliance with state laws as well. You need disclaimers and you need the matters spelled out so that they are understood by parents and leave no room to interpretation. Good luck with your new business.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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