When Should You Have a Financial, Legal and Advice Disclaimer Posted on Your Website?

James Chiodo, Certified Information Privacy Professional CIPP/US

If your Website or Blog is not a professional service site, (i.e., an attorney offering legal advice, an e-trader offering stock advice, a financial planner giving advice, etc,) the Financial, Legal and Advice Disclaimer gives public notice that your site is not a platform for users or readers to obtain professional advice and services.

How Do Disclaimers Protect Your Website or Blog?

The Financial, Legal and Other Advice Disclaimer is a proactive form of protection, as it notifies users and readers upfront that the content (in your non-professional service Website or Blog) is not presented, offered or intended as professional or expert advice, and is not to be used as a basis for financial, legal, or other decisions.

The non-relationship statement and request not to disclose any confidential information to your company is a very important provision of the disclaimer; not only does it clearly state that your content is not intended to form professional relationships or to be presented as professional advice, it discourages disclosing confidential information whereas, sharing of confidential information may be constituted as forming a professional relationship.

A key element in the disclaimer is the relationship provision; by notifying users and readers that your website or blog does not constitute, create or form a professional-client relationship of any kind, or in any manner, it places sole accountability and responsibility on the user or reader if they make any legal, financial or other decisions based on the information obtained from your website or blog.

If a legal claim or lawsuit arises from a decision based on content obtained from your Website or blog, the court may discern if a professional relationship was formed, or if the content was intended to present (offer) professional advice.

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