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Using a disclaimer on your website

This information is provided by:Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNetherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVKNederlandse versie

Many websites have a disclaimer. What do they mean? And when should you put a disclaimer on your website?

What is a disclaimer?

A disclaimer is a piece of text that provides information about the contents of your website. You can usually find a disclaimer in the footer or header of the website. They are common on company sites, online shops, and blogs, but you also find them at the bottom of emails.

Can you limit liability with a disclaimer?

Lots of disclaimers simply state that the owner of the website cannot be held liable for the information on the website. However, disclaimers cannot protect you against liability. Liability is governed by law, and what you say or do not say in a disclaimer does not change that. Moreover, disclaimers are a statement: they are an explanation or a piece of information meant for your clients. They are not an agreement or contract that you enter into with any other party.

How do you use a disclaimer?

You cannot exclude liability with a disclaimer, but you can use it to inform your visitors. Here are some things you could put in your disclaimer:

  • You could mention that you produced all the copy and visuals on your website yourself, and that they are copyrighted.
  • You could explain how often you update your website.
  • If you give advice based on personal experience alone, you could highlight that you are not an expert or official authority on the subject.
  • You could tell visitors about advertised content or paid posts on your website.

Are disclaimers mandatory?

No, disclaimers are not mandatory.

Sample disclaimer

There is no set format for disclaimers. Looking for a sample? Consult your trade association or ask a lawyer for advice. They can probably help you write a good disclaimer. For more inspiration, consider investigating what other businesses in your industry put in their disclaimers.

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