A properly drawn-up set of terms and conditions will go a long way.
Most businesses we come across have great relationships with their customers. They provide high quality goods and services, and customers come back again and again. When things are running smoothly, many do not give a second thought to the ‘fine print’ or the ‘Ts and Cs’ behind the relationship with their clients, but a little work on this documentation when the sun is shining can provide much needed protection when storm clouds gather.
When is the contract with your customer formed? When does legal ownership of your goods pass to your customer? What can your customer do if they have a problem? What do you and do you not assume liability for? Spelling out these points in your terms and conditions can save expensive disputes later on. Certainty is highly desirable from a legal point of view, but also makes great business sense. Everyone knows where they stand and the potential for misunderstandings and disagreements is hugely decreased.
There are other questions too: what if one party wants to terminate the contract? Where will any dispute be settled, particularly if you have international customers? What if you want to vary the contract? Our approach is to learn as much as possible about your business so that we can draft you a set of terms and conditions which fits your needs. In many cases it does not need to be complicated, but it does need to be right. Certainty and peace of mind can often be achieved with a short document with which you and your customers can be comfortable.
We are happy to provide an initial free consultations on drawing up terms and conditions for your business, and can agree fixed fees at a competitive rate. Avoiding disputes is cheaper and easier than resolving them, and clear terms and conditions will play a key role.
If you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Rebecca Anforth, head of our commercial law team, or Harry Perrin, author of the article.
The information provided in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and cannot be relied upon as such. Any law quoted in this article is correct as at 23 February 2015. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances before any action is taken. Copyright © Murrell Associates Limited, February 2015.