Before you join a giveaway and start acquiring emails and growing your audience, you’ll want to make sure your giveaway has the correct legal language and that you’ve properly set up your giveaway to follow any applicable laws. While no one likes with nitty gritty legal terms, it's extremely important to make sure your brand is protected from any legal actions.
We’ve put together the below checklist to make sure you’re aware of everything you need to do before your giveaway starts.
We aren’t lawyers, so this is not legal advice and this checklist is not a full list of every legal issue that might arise during a giveaway. Always consult a sweepstakes lawyer with any questions specific to your organization or giveaway.
Every giveaway is legally required to have rules that meet the requirements of any applicable laws and are viewable by every entrant. Our Official Rules Generator auto-populates a template for you and is a great way to create your own if you don’t have any handy.
Note that if you choose to use DojoMojo's drafted terms, Innovation Brands Corp and DojoMojo can't be held liable for any issues or disputes that may arise as a result.
Giveaway Registration and Bonding
New York and Florida require that any giveaway with a prize value over $5,000 must be bonded and registered in those states. Check with state authorities if you have questions about how to properly register and bond your giveaway. If you’d prefer to skip those steps, you can always add langauge that entrants from those states are not eligible to win.
Rhode Island requires entities to register with them if the prize in their giveaway exceeds $500. You can register with the state or void those entries as well.
Sweepstakes Eligibility Requirements
Your official rules should clearly state who is eligible.
For example, if your prize includes alcohol, you’ll want to certify that only people age 21 and older can enter to win. Failure to set eligibility requirements could lead to legal issues after the campaign is over.
Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release
You should always send your giveaway winner both an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability Release form to protect your brand from any legal issues after the giveaway has ended. An Affidavit of Eligibility legally certifies that the winner is eligible to win.
If your prize value exceeds $600, you’ll also need to issue an IRS 1099 form to the winner, so make sure your Affidavit of Eligibility asks for their Social Security number. Consult a lawyer to get an Affidavit of Eligibility and visit the IRS website for a 1099 form.
A Liability Release form gives giveaway sponsors the right to use and publish information about the winner. It also releases the sponsors from any liability that might arise in connection to the giveaway. Consult a lawyer to get this release form.
Advertising Your Giveaway
Each state has different rules regarding sweepstakes advertising, so make sure you have the correct information depending on how and where you are going to promote your giveaway. The main point is that you cannot in any way misrepresent what your sweepstakes offers as a prize.
Social Media Policies
Be aware of any applicable social media rules that may apply while you promote your giveaway. Check each platform’s policies to make sure you are in accordance with them.