Every business which provides services or goods, whether from home, from premises or online, requires Terms and Conditions of Business in order to provide protection to both the business and its customers.
Terms and Conditions of Business are the agreement between a customer and a business.
They govern the expectations of the parties and set out the rules of the business in relation to the goods and services being provided.
WHY ARE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS IMPORTANT?
Terms and Conditions of Business govern how your business provides goods or services and how a customer will purchase the goods or services.
Your Terms and Conditions should clearly set out what is expected of both the business and the customer in order to avoid any potential disputes. In the event that a dispute does arise, the business should be able to rely on its Terms and Conditions of Business to confirm that they have complied with their requirements.
Most new start up businesses, or smaller businesses, do not have sufficient funds available to pay for unplanned liabilities, disputes with customers and wait for unpaid invoices to be paid. Most small businesses are dependent on their customer’s paying clients.
WHAT IS COVERED?
Terms and Conditions of Business may contain the following provisions:-
Price –the price payable for specific items, whether any additional sums are due on top such as VAT or other taxes and the currency in which the payment is required to be made.
Payment –the methods of payment which are accepted, when payment is required to be made and any interest which may be payable in the event that payment is late.
Delivery –the delivery methods available, the regions to which delivery is available, the cost of the delivery and any estimates timescales.
Ordering process – how the order is accepted, tracked or amended.
Guarantees/Warranties –any guarantees or warranties that are available with the products being sold.
Breach – cover what will happen in the event that a customer fails to make a payment, an item is not delivered on time, the customer is not happy with the goods/services received or any other particular dispute.
It is essential that you are aware of Consumer Rights. In the event that a business sells goods which are faulty, not as described or not fit for the purpose they are designed for, the customer will be entitled to a full refund. Terms and Conditions of Business are not able to exclude these rights and it is therefore imperative that businesses are aware of their obligations. In particular if the business will be selling perishable or restricted goods.
ONE SIZE FITS ALL?
Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that standard form Terms and Conditions of Business will fit your business. Each business is unique, has different ways of operating, provides different services or goods, has different requirements and may even be governed by different legislation. It is therefore essential that your Terms and Conditions of Business are compatible with your business, as ineffective Terms and Conditions of Business will offer you little or no protection.
Whether you are starting a business or you are an established business, our specialist team of Commercial Solicitors can prepare, update or advise you in relation to Terms and Conditions for your business. Call us now on 01702 338338 or 01277 500123 or 0208 049 5888.
This article does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. If you require specialist advice on this topic, please contact us to discuss how we may assist you.