Hosting Agreements

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Blacks Solicitors’ Commercial Law team regularly provide specialist advice and assistance in relation to Hosting Agreements.

A Hosting Agreement is a legal document regulating the relationship between a customer and the supplier of a hosting service, whether on the host’s dedicated or shared servers, or under a co-location contract where the host stores the customer’s server.

You will often see clauses in these Agreements restricting the liability of the hosting company to customers if something goes wrong, and to ensure they can deal properly with third party complaints about hosted content which is infringing or illegal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect alongside a Hosting Agreement?

You would expect to see a Service Level Agreement (SLA) as part of a host’s offering.

An SLA sets out what the host is offering and the minimum, measurable level of service that you would expect to receive. You would also expect to have it set out what happens if those minimum levels are not met.

The kinds of things that can be specified in a website hosting SLA include the percentage availability of the service and the host’s response times for particular kinds of faults.

From a legal standpoint, you need to ensure that the SLA defines very clearly what is on offer.

What other things would I expect to see?

You should expect to see provisions for the protection of the host provider for things such as infringement of Intellectual Property, abusive or indecent material, and defamatory information.  This is because unless the website host acts quickly to remove infringing material once they become aware of it, they could find themselves liable.

Finally, you would also expect to see provisions regarding data protection. These will either be in the Hosting Agreement itself, or in a separate Data Agreement.


To find out how Blacks’ Commercial Law team can assist you with a Hosting Agreement, please email or call us today on 0113 207 0000.