Why does your business need terms and conditions?

Why does your business need terms and conditions?

Whether part of a company or partnership or acting as a sole trader, some people may think that obtaining a properly drafted set of terms and conditions (T&Cs) may not be an effective way to spend money, especially those that have been in business for a number of years and have built up good client or customer relations. Below we have put together ten reasons to highlight why we think your business needs terms and conditions and how they can benefit you:

  • Certainty - They help to identify all of the parties and in the event that something goes wrong it provides confidence to each party as to who can do what.
  • Compliant – by using carefully drafted T&Cs you can demonstrate that you are compliant with any relevant industry standards. For example, for businesses that deal with consumers by regularly updating your T&Cs this provides a good opportunity to check that you are complying with the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • Competing terms - When dealing with other suppliers, agents, promoters or businesses it can be crucial to determine whose terms and conditions apply and having a properly drafted set and incorporating them into your contracts in the right way means there is less scope for confusion if something goes wrong.
  • Payment – They provide a clear way of setting out payment terms at the outset which helps avoid any conflict and can give you peace of mind about knowing when to expect payment which generally assists with managing cash flow and finances.
  • Expectations - If given at the beginning, terms and conditions will govern the whole transaction or contract and each party will know what to expect from the other and when. This allows each party to plan as necessary and to ensure compliance.
  • Force majeure – T&Cs often have this type of clause to cover for any events that are outside of a party's control which leads to a breach of contract, for example failing to deliver something due to floods. Providing for this in your T&Cs can help protect you against a claim being brought for such a breach.
  • Proof – the T&C's allow for protection, both for yourself and any parties that you deal with, as they provide proof of what has been agreed at the outset, often saving time and money when things go wrong.
  • Interest – where payment terms have not been adhered to, you can rely on provisions in the T&Cs which enable you to charge and recover interest on any outstanding sums and recover losses. It is unlikely that parties will reach agreement on this once relationships have already broken down.
  • Relationship breakdown – Whilst nobody intends for a relationship to break down unfortunately at times this is inevitable. In such instances it is useful to have a pre-agreed method of resolving the dispute which can take some of the stress away.
  • Efficiency – using a set of T&Cs can make the business run more efficiently and can save you money in the long-run whilst often reducing time demands and stress so you can focus your resources elsewhere.

Clapham and Collinge Commercial Solicitors can help tailor terms and conditions to suit the specific needs of your business. We appreciate that one size does not fit all businesses and we work hard to make sure you get the most out of the time and money that you put into them. To find out more or discuss your individual requirements in further detail, contact us today on 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham, Brooke and Sheringham offices.