Terms & Conditions of business

what3words Limited

This page tells you information about us and the legal terms and conditions (Terms) on which we supply any of the services (including but not limited to “3 words”, “OneWord” and the App) (Services) listed on our website (our site) to you.

These Terms will apply to any contract between us for the supply of Services to you (Contract). Please read these Terms carefully and make sure that you understand them, before using any Services from our site. Please note that by using any of our Services, you agree to be bound by these Terms and any other documents expressly referred to in them.

You should print a copy of these Terms for future reference.

We amend these Terms from time to time as set out in clause 10. Every time you wish to use our Services, please check these Terms to ensure you understand the terms which will apply at that time.

These Terms, and any Contract between us, are only in the English language.

The what3words API has separate terms & conditions which developers must subscribe to in order to use the API service – please email api@what3words.com for further information or sign-up on the site to use the API.

  1. Information about us
    1. We operate the website what3words.com. We are what3words Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under company number 08430008 and with our registered office at Dewmead House, Hinxworth, Baldock, Herts, SG7 5HD.
    2. To contact us, please see our Contact Us page what3words.com/contact
  2. Definitions
    1. In these terms:
      “App” means any application created by us for the use of any of our Services;
      “App Store” means the app store operated and owned by Apple Inc or by Google Play or any other store for selling apps and protected by trademarks, as registered in the US and other countries;
      “Intellectual Property” means all intellectual property rights in our site, the Services, the Word List, the Software, our logo, our content,
      “Mobile Device” means a mobile phone or other mobile communication device which is compatible with the App;
      “Software” means the software contained on or used in our site;
      “Trade Marks”means all registered and unregistered trade marks and designs of what3words expressly granted to the Licensee, including those set out hereunder;
      “Word List” means the word list from which the 3 words or OneWord may be taken.
  3. Intellectual Property
    1. You acknowledge that all Intellectual Property belongs to us or our licensors, that rights in the Intellectual Property are licensed (not sold) to you, and that you have no rights in, or to, the Intellectual Property other than the right to use the Intellectual Property in accordance with this Contract. You further acknowledge that part of the Intellectual Property may include open-source software as defined by the Open Source Initiative (http://opensource.org) or the Free Software Foundation (http://www.fsf.org), or third party software, details of which are cited in the Schedule hereto.
    2. The Intellectual Property shall remain our property, but in consideration of you agreeing to abide by the terms of this Contract, we shall grant you a non-assignable, non-transferable, non-exclusive and revocable licence to use the Intellectual Property for the sole purpose of using the Services as permitted by this Contract and any App Store rules. Such licence is conditional on you having paid all necessary charges to us to use such Services and on you keeping intact all copyright and other proprietary notices. Any copying, re-utilisation, extraction, reproduction or redistribution of the content of the Intellectual Property is expressly prohibited, and this shall include but not be limited to copying or reproduction of the content of the Intellectual Property to any other server or location for further reproduction or redistribution.
    3. You may download a copy of the App onto your device to view, use and display the App on the device to access the Services for Your personal and non-commercial purposes only. You are not permitted or licensed to use the App or the Services for any other purpose and nothing in this Contract shall be deemed to grant you any right, title or interest in the App or the Services.
    4. You have no right, and shall not permit any third party to copy, adapt, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, modify or reproduce the App or the Services in any way without obtaining our express prior written consent in each instance or to the extent required by law.
    5. You may use our logo, content and trademarks in accordance with the guidelines published from time-to-time on our website. However, if you use our logo, content or trade marks, you do so acknowledging that this use is under license from us, and that your use will not cause any confusion as to the ownership of these things.
    6. Except as expressly stated herein, this agreement does not grant you any rights to, or in, patents, copyrights, database rights, trade names, trademarks (whether registered or unregistered), or any other rights or licences in respect of the Intellectual Property, our site, the App and the material published on it.
    7. We are not aware of any reason why we cannot grant the rights we purport to grant under, or in accordance with this agreement.
    8. Major processes involved in our technology including, but not limited to, those used in the operation of our site and the App are subject to pending patent protection through UK Patent Application Numbers GB1307148.5, GB1500104.3 and GB1500105.0 and international patent application number PCT/GB2014/051152.
    9. The following are trade marks of what3words Ltd, registered in various jurisdictions:















  1. Use of Our Site and the App
    1. You are responsible for opening an account with us and for making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to our site.
    2. In respect of any user identification code, password or any other piece of information provided as part of our security procedures, you must treat such information as confidential, and you must not disclose it to any third party. We have the right to disable any user identification code or password, whether chosen by you or allocated by us, at any time, if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any of the provisions of these Terms.
    3. Access to our site and the App is permitted on a temporary basis, and we reserve the right to withdraw or amend the service we provide on our site or in connection with the App without notice. We will not be liable if for any reason our site or the App is unavailable at any time or for any period.
    4. From time to time, we may restrict access to some parts of our site, or our entire site or the App or some parts of the App, to users who have registered with us.
    5. The material displayed on our site or in connection with the App is provided without any guarantees, conditions or warranties as to its accuracy. We may at any time alter the content of our site or the App without communicating the alteration to you.
    6. Where our site or App contains links to other sites, apps and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your information only. We have no control over the contents of those sites or resources, or how they handle any links we provide to them, and we accept no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them.
    7. Our site uses cookies. A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is put on your computer if you agree. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our site, which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our site and also allows us to improve our site. Read more about the individual cookies we use and how to recognise them by clicking here. Using our site will result in cookies being set and by continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
    8. By using our site or the App you are agreeing to be bound by the Terms of Use of Google Maps API. For details please click here http://developers.google.com/maps/terms
  2. Photo, Video and Other Content Uploading
    1. By uploading any photograph, video or other content you represent and warrant that:
      1. you are the sole author and owner of the intellectual property rights thereto;
      2. all “moral rights” that you may have in such uploaded content, for example, the right to be named as the creator of your photograph, have been voluntarily waived by you;
      3. you are at least 13 years old;
      4. photographs/videos have not been previously licensed, published, distributed or publicly used or displayed;
      5. photographs/videos are not obscene, defamatory, libellous or otherwise unlawful, or likely to damage our reputation;
      6. no use of the photographs, videos or other content by us shall cause us to infringe the rights (including the intellectual property rights) of any third party; and
      7. use of the content you supply does not violate these Terms.
    2. You further agree and warrant that your content does not contain any material that:
      1. disparages any person, us and/or any of our affiliates’ products, competitors, or other companies;
      2. violates or infringes upon the copyrights, trademarks, right of privacy, right of publicity or other intellectual property or proprietary rights of any person or entity;
      3. includes brand names, copyrighted work or trademarks/logos that may infringe on rights of any third party;
      4. appears to intentionally duplicate any other submitted entries;
      5. is tortuous, defamatory, slanderous or libellous;
      6. promotes bigotry, racism, sexism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age;
      7. contains any personally identifiable information, such as personal names or email addresses;
      8. promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing);
      9. promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous;
      10. is unlawful or in violation of any law;
      11. contains any nudity, sexually explicit, lewd, offensive, disparaging or other inappropriate content;
      12. is inappropriate or unsuitable to be uploaded to our Site or App for any reason whatsoever; or
      13. communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or goodwill with which we wish to be associated.
    3. We reserve the right in our absolute discretion to withdraw or suspend the provision of the content upload service to you and remove any photographs, videos or other content you have uploaded without prior warning if you are in our sole opinion in breach of any of the provisions of clauses 5.1 and 5.2. You agree that you will compensate us for any costs, loss, or damage of any kind incurred by us as a result of any breach of this promise by you.
    4. By uploading any photograph, video or other content you are agreeing that we (and our group and affiliate companies) may display the content on our site, App and any other site or app we may choose at any time, and that when displayed we may include your name as submitted by you in the uploading process. Your content may be posted or displayed publicly on other websites selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website’s public location. We are not responsible for any unauthorised use of your photograph, video or other content by visitors.
    5. By uploading any photograph, video or other content you are agreeing that we may at any time edit, publish and use your content in any and all media (now or later developed) for promotion, news and information purposes and as part of our goods and services, in particular on our square grid map, without any payment to you. You agree to sign any necessary documentation or take any action that may reasonably be required for us and our group and affiliate companies to make use of the rights you grant above.
    6. We do not guarantee that you will have recourse to edit or delete any photographs, videos or other content that you have uploaded.
  3. Further provisions relating to the Use of the App
    1. You may only cancel a contract to use the App to the extent permitted by the relevant App Stores’ terms and conditions.
    2. We give no warranty for the quality or reliability of the Services provided by any App Store.
    3. We shall not be liable to you for any loss of connection to the internet from your Mobile Device or malfunction or failure of the in-built GPS in your Mobile Device, which prevents you accessing the App.
  4. 3 words
    1. The provision of the service of 3 words for a location is provided free of charge but subject to these Terms.
    2. We shall not be liable to you for any failure, however caused, to find the 3 words for any location, for any consequence of the failure to find the 3 words, for any failure to find the location to which the 3 words apply or for any consequence of the failure to find such location.
    3. While we have made all reasonable efforts to remove potentially offensive words from the Word List, we shall not be liable to you for any words, word combinations or word orders which may be offensive, upsetting or annoying in any way or for any reason to you, to anyone receiving those words for any purpose (for example, in communicating the location described by the words in question) or to anyone or anything associated with the location described by those 3 words.
    4. We reserve the right to change any words in the Word List and shall not be liable to you if any 3 Word combination or OneWord previously supplied ceases to work or for any consequences of such cessation.
  5. OneWord
    1. The provision of the OneWord service shall be for the periods and at the prices set out on our site.
    2. When purchasing the OneWord service, you warrant that you are aged 18 or over.
    3. In choosing the word or alphanumeric string you wish to use for our OneWord service, you must not choose any which is or may be any of the following:-
      1. anything which may defame, abuse, harass, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights of others;
      2. anything inappropriate, profane, defamatory, obscene, indecent or unlawful;
      3. anything which incites or is likely to incite discrimination, hate or violence towards one person or a group because of their sex or sexual orientation or because of their belonging to a race, a religion or a nation;
      4. anything that may infringe the intellectual property of any party;
      5. anything which may cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to any person.
      6. anything that may violate any applicable laws or regulations.
    4. We reserve the right in our absolute discretion to withdraw or suspend the provision of the OneWord service to you without prior warning to you if you are in our opinion in breach of any of the provisions of clause 8.3 above or any other Terms. You shall be liable for and shall indemnify us against all costs, claims, demands, liability and expenses incurred by us in respect of any steps, actions or proceedings made or brought against us by any third party as a result of any breach by you of the provisions of clause 8.3 above.
    5. We shall not be liable to you for any failure by you to find the location to which the OneWord applies or for any consequence of such failure whatsoever.
    6. You may not purchase the OneWord service for resale. Should you wish to purchase any of the Services for resale, please contact us directly via our Contact page.
  6. How we use your personal information
    1. We only use your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy. For details, please see our Privacy Policy. Please take the time to read this, as it includes important terms which apply to you.
  7. How the contract is formed between you and us
    1. To place an order for OneWord, please click a “Buy OneWord” link on our site or app and follow the steps in the order process.
    2. Our order process for OneWord allows you to check and amend any errors before submitting your order to us. We are under no obligation to allow you to amend your order once it has been submitted. Please take the time to read and check your order at each page of the order process.
    3. After you place an order for OneWord, we will confirm our acceptance to you by sending to you an email (Purchase Confirmation). The contract between us will be formed when we send you the Purchase Confirmation.
  8. Our right to vary these terms
    1. We may revise these Terms at any time by amending them. You are expected to check this page from time to time to take notice of any changes we have made, as they are binding on you.
    2. Every time you use Services from us, the Terms in force at that time will apply to the Contract between you and us.
  9. Your cancellation and refund rights as a consumer
    1. Where you are using the OneWord services as a consumer, you have a legal right to cancel a Contract for the OneWord service under the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000) during the period set out below in clause 12.2. This means that during the relevant period if you change your mind or for any other reason you decide you do not want to keep the service, you can notify us of your decision to cancel the Contract and receive a refund. Advice about your legal right to cancel the Contract under these regulations is available from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau or Trading Standards office.
    2. Your legal right to cancel a Contract for the OneWord service starts from the date of the Purchase Confirmation, which is when the Contract between us is formed. You have a period of 7 (seven) working days in which you may cancel, starting from the day after the day you receive the Purchase Confirmation. Working days means that Saturdays, Sundays or public holidays are not included in this period.
    3. To cancel a Contract for the OneWord service, you must contact us in writing by sending an e-mail to support@what3words.com. You may wish to keep a copy of your cancellation notification for your own records.
    4. You will receive a full refund of the price you paid for the OneWord service. We will process the refund due to you as soon as possible and, in any case, within 30 calendar days of the day on which you gave us notice of cancellation as described in clause 12.3.
  10. Price of services
    1. The price of the OneWord service will be as quoted on our site and App from time to time. The price of the OneWord service may vary according to currency and whether it is quoted on the site or Apps. We take all reasonable care to ensure that such prices are correct at the time when the relevant information was entered onto the system. However if we discover an error in the price of the OneWord service you ordered, please see clause 13.3 for what happens in this event.
    2. Prices for our Services may change from time to time, but changes will not affect any order which we have confirmed with a Purchase Confirmation.
    3. If we discover an error in the price of the OneWord service you have ordered we will inform you of this error and we will give you the option of continuing to purchase the OneWord service at the correct price or cancelling your order. We will not process your order until we have your instructions. If we are unable to contact you using the contact details you provided during the order process, we will treat the order as cancelled and notify you in writing. Please note that if the pricing error is obvious and unmistakeable and could have reasonably been recognised by you as a mispricing, we do not have to provide the OneWord service to you at the incorrect (lower) price.
  11. Our liability to you
    1. If we fail to comply with these Terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breach of these Terms or our negligence, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if they were an obvious consequence of our breach or if they were contemplated by you and us at the time we entered into the Contract.
    2. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, we only supply the Services for domestic, private and commercial use. You agree not to use the Services for any re-sale purposes. Where the Services are used for commercial or business use, we have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.
    3. Where we supply to you co-ordinates for a location as part of our Services, for use with satellite navigation devices, we shall not be liable to you for any inaccuracies in the co-ordinates supplied nor for any consequence, however arising, of the provision of inaccurate co-ordinates.
  12. Events outside our control
    1. We will not be liable or responsible for any failure to perform, or delay in performance of, any of our obligations under a Contract that is caused by an Event Outside Our Control. An Event Outside Our Control is defined below in clause 15.2.
    2. An Event Outside Our Control means any act or event beyond our reasonable control, including without limitation accident to or breakdown of delivery vehicle, strikes, lock-outs or other industrial action by third parties, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack, war (whether declared or not) or threat or preparation for war, fire, explosion, storm, flood, earthquake, subsidence, epidemic or other natural disaster, or failure of public or private telecommunications networks or impossibility of the use of railways, shipping, aircraft, motor transport or other means of public or private transport.
  13. Communications between us
    1. When we refer, in these Terms, to “in writing”, this will include e-mail.
    2. If you wish to contact us in writing, or if any clause in these Terms requires you to give us notice in writing, you can send this to us by e-mail to support@what3words.com. We will confirm receipt of this by contacting you in writing, normally by e-mail. If you are a consumer and exercising your right to cancel under clause 12, please see that clause 12 for how to tell us this.
    3. If we have to contact you or give you notice in writing, we will do so by e-mail to the e-mail address you provide to us in your order.
    4. We will contact you occasionally with news and updates. If you wish to unsubscribe you may do so at any time.
  14. Other important terms
    1. We may transfer our rights and obligations under a Contract to another organisation, but this will not affect your rights or our obligations under these Terms.
    2. You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these Terms to another person if we agree in writing.
    3. This contract is between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms, whether under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act) 1999 or otherwise and we and you will not need their consent to cancel or make any changes to these Terms.
    4. Each of the paragraphs of these Terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful or unenforceable, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
    5. If we fail to insist that you perform any of your obligations under these Terms, or if we do not enforce our rights against you, or if we delay in doing so, that will not mean that we have waived our rights against you and will not mean that you do not have to comply with those obligations. If we do waive a default by you, we will only do so in writing, and that will not mean that we will automatically waive any later default by you.
    6. These Terms are governed by English law. This means a Contract for the purchase of Products through our site and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with it will be governed by English law. You and we both agree to that the courts of England and Wales will have non-exclusive jurisdiction.

The Schedule

Citation of Third Party Software and Data

The Intellectual Property includes data taken from the following:-

Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN)/Columbia University, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), The World Bank, and Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). 2011. Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project, Version 1 (GRUMPv1): Settlement Points. Palisades,

NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).


Center for International Earth Science Information Netwrotk (CIESIN)/Columbia University, and Centro International de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT). 2005. Gridded Population of the World, Version 3 (GPWv3):

National Administrative Boundaries. Palisades. NY: NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)


Word frequency data – Mark Davies, Professor at Brigham Young University


Word frequency data from monolingual corpora distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License


Word frequency data distributed with an in-perpetuity licence from Sketch Engine


Geographical placenames and locations from the GeoNames geographical database, distributed at http://www.geonames.org under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Google Maps APIs