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An Online Membership Agreement is a document that is quite popular these days as many solo entrepreneurs and small organizations are running exclusively online business that others can join. In an Online Membership Agreement, there are two parties, the organization and the member. The organization is the entity that is providing the online services and offering the membership. The member is the individual joining the online organization.
For anyone that's ever joined a business like an online community, it's likely an Online Membership Agreement has been at the heart of the parties' relationship. These documents are generally skewed towards the side of the group or organization and the member usually doesn't have too much say in the negotiating process.
Membership Agreements are not only used for groups like online communities, they can also be used for any business that runs on an online membership model. Think about things like fitness websites (where fitness services are provided over the internet) or websites that allow members to access premium media (like photos or videos).
This is different than a regular Membership Agreement, as that document normally relates only to brick-and-mortar businesses, like a physical gym or physical membership space. The terms in those types of agreements tend to be slightly different.
How to use this document
This document can be used for any situation in which an online group or organization would like to welcome a new member. The online group or organization can be large or small, it doesn't make any difference for this document, as all of the required details will be included regardless of size.
Here, the parties will fill out this agreement, including all of the necessary information, such as the new member's name and address, the organization's name, address, and purpose of the membership. Importantly, fee information is not included in these types of agreements, as for online business, the fees are normally displayed and paid on a separate, dedicated page.
When this document is filled out, ideally, it should be signed or e-signed by both parties. Normally, at least the group or organization keeps an online copy, but it is a best practice for a copy of this document to be kept with the new member as well.
Online Membership Agreements are normally subject to both federal law, governing the transmission of data over the internet and accessibility of the website to multiple states, and individual state laws (usually where the business is incorporated or organized), governing general and commercial contract principles.
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