Which Contractual Terms and Conditions are essential to protect my business?

Terms and Conditions

What is meant by Terms and Conditions?

If you are supplying goods or services to your customers then you will be required to put in place contractual terms and conditions between yourself and your customer stating the required workings and contractual provisions of your business.

The document will not be limited to being called Terms and Conditions but can also be entitled “Terms of Sale”, “Sale Contract”, “Business Terms” and in actual fact can be termed whatever is wished by the business providing the goods or services.

As is often the case with terms and conditions they are simply provided to the customer without the opportunity for the customer to amend them. An example of this is during internet transactions whereby a customer will be unable to purchase the products unless they tick the requisite box stating that they have read and are aware of the terms and conditions. This is often seen as a take it or leave it provision.

In certain cases when providing terms and conditions of sale to clients there is the opportunity for the client or consumer to negotiate the terms. If this is the case then this may be termed a consultancy document or a document of sale and will not strictly be a set of terms and conditions.

What is the purpose of a Terms and Conditions document?

Each business providing goods and services will need to draw up a complete terms and conditions document to ensure the following:

  • To provide full details of what may have been agreed

  • To make the customer aware of all the inflexible terms under which you will accept business

  • To define the parameters of the contract

  • To define the procedures by which you will accept business

  • To fully protect your business and your rights

  • To limit your liability under the contract

  • To provide any other important provisions such as payment and cancellation procedures

Contractual Provisions

Which contractual provisions should form the basis of my terms and conditions of sale?

Definition

The product that you are selling must be clearly described within the terms and conditions document or alternatively by referencing another document  or a specific area on your website.

Often terms and conditions will need to be kept brief and in certain cases this is essential, for example when they are provided on the back of a sports ticket or a train ticket. In circumstances like this it can often be beneficial to produce two sets of terms and conditions, one long form and one short form. In this case reference to the long form must be made within the short form.

Pricing – Fixed Price, Price Increases and Changes

It is not always prudent to put the price of products into the terms and conditions document as often prices can be subject to change which will result in constant updating of the terms and conditions of sale.

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For more information on:

  • Payment Provisions
  • Insurance Policy
  • Termination or Cancellation Provisions
  • Limitation of Liability
  • Indemnity
  • Data Protection
  • Dispute Resolution