Affiliate terms and conditions template

This set of affiliate terms and conditions forms the contract between you and the website marketing partners that you recruit for your in-house network. The T&C template can be easily adapted to suit how your affiliate programme works, whether your arrangement is commission on sales, commission on traffic or on another basis.
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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About this document

If you run an in-house affiliate marketing programme then you will need a contract between you and your affiliates that not only sets out the commercial terms of the deal (such as levels of commission), but which also protects your business, from problems such as false claims of sales, inappropriate use of your content or brand, or disclosure of confidential information.

This template will help you create a set of affiliate terms and conditions that should do exactly that. It is easy to adapt to suit exactly how your affiliate programme works, regardless of what you sell, the basis on which you pay commission (e.g. sales or referred traffic volume), or how many affiliates you will have.

Are these affiliate terms and conditions suitable for your business?

This template is suitable for businesses that operate an affiliate scheme "in-house", that where the programme is run by the business and not a third party affiliate network scheme. If you use self managed software, this template is likely to be suitable.

The template can be used as a contract for a wide range of affiliate programmes. You might:

  • sell physical goods, downloaded products, services or memberships;
  • have different commission rates on different products or services;
  • transact in a number of different currencies and countries;
  • pay affiliates based on a different metric to sales, such as referred traffic or membership sign-ups;
  • provide affiliate "tools" and other sales devices for your affiliates to use;
  • offer a percentage of affiliate sales to second level "super" affiliates who find other affiliates for you.

This template can be adapted easily for all of those options. If there are any you do not need, they can easily be deleted.

Use of plain English

As far as possible, we have used plain language in this template. For terms and conditions in particular, there are distinct advantages of doing so rather than using legal jargon, especially since plain English does not diminish the legal effect:

  • your affiliates are more likely to read and understand the terms fully, resulting in fewer disagreements and more easily resolved disputes;
  • you are more likely to present yourself to potential affiliates as modern, friendly and professional - a business with which they feel comfortable to work.

The law in this document

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, price and payment, provision of service, liabilities and risk. That means that, by and large, you can set the commercial terms you want. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely, and what we don't advise changing.

Terms and conditions form a contract between you and your affiliates. Just as you place T&C for sale of goods or services on your site and have customers clicking to accept them before sale, these terms should be placed on a page on your site which visitors will read before accepting to become an affiliate. By using the same terms for all affiliates, rather than individual contracts for each individually, you reduce legal administration costs and can change the terms more easily.

Document features and contents

We have a lot of experience with affiliate programmes and software. We developed our own (now commercially available) affiliate software to be able to run the Net Lawman affiliate programme. This document reflects how modern affiliate programmes (and the software that runs them) work and incorporates our many years of experience of them.

The legal provisions in the document include:

  • definitions;
  • interpretation;
  • entire agreement;
  • relationship of parties;
  • applicable values: set commission rates and dates;
  • contract;
  • commission calculation and payment;
  • multi-level commissions for "super affiliates";
  • tagging: recognition of a visitor passed to your site by an affiliate;
  • merchant tracking and reports;
  • changes to the agreement;
  • refunds, charges back and bad cheques;
  • acceptable use policy;
  • restrictions;
  • security of your website and use of your site content;
  • control of visitor data: information about your customers remains your own;
  • publicity and affiliate tools;
  • duration and termination;
  • at and after termination;
  • intellectual property;
  • confidential information;
  • indemnities;
  • interruption to your service;
  • disclaimers and limitation of liability;
  • other miscellaneous legal provisions to protect your interests.

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current New Zealand law.

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