Terms and Conditions of Business is an essential business document which every new business should put in place immediately.
Why do I need one?
- To ensure you have a binding, legally enforceable contract with your customer.
- To protect yourself against non-payment.
- To limit your liability to the customer.
- To set out a clear and legally compliant policy for delivery, returns and defective items.
- To help avoid disputes arising at a later date.
Why do I need a solicitor to help me draft these?
- A solicitor can help to ensure that your terms do not contravene one of the many laws forbidding “unfair” contract terms. Including an “unfair” contract term could result in your terms and conditions being unenforceable.
- The laws for contracting with consumers and businesses are different and your terms will need to be tailored accordingly.
- To provide advice on the procedures you need to put in place to ensure the terms form part of the contract with your customer and take precedence over any additional terms introduced by them.
- If you are contracting over the Internet, there are additional laws to comply with.
- Standard terms and conditions do not usually include a “retention of title” clause. This enables you to retain ownership of the goods you supply under the contract until payment is made. When properly drafted these are extremely useful in the event of a buyer failing to pay or running into financial difficulty.
- If you “crib” from other people’s terms and conditions, you cannot be sure that they are legally compliant, enforceable and drafted in the best interests of your business.
- A solicitor can help you consider all of the issues you may face and resolve what should happen in each scenario.
- There is rarely a standard document. Every business has different and changing needs and will require specifically tailored provisions to be included.