Have you ever updated your business contracts, terms and conditions? Are you starting to sell on the internet or another new market for the first time? Are you sure your terms and conditions are enforceable in the event of a dispute? We can help.
Why does your business need Contracts, Terms and Conditions?
Business contracts and related terms and conditions are a fundamental part of your relationship with your customers. Whether you have bespoke contracts for one-off pieces of work, or general terms and conditions that apply to all your customers it is extremely important to get them right.
At the most basic level, professionally drafted contracts or standard terms of business lay out what you agree to provide as a service or goods for your customers. Without them, how do you enforce an informally agreed price? We all like to think the best of our customers and believe that nothing will ever go wrong, but from time to time disputes are inevitable. If you don’t have a legal contract you run the risk of not being paid by your customers.
Common pitfalls we see include not updating contracts when a business changes name or perhaps changes from a sole trader to a limited company. Maybe the law has changed and parts of a contract are no longer relevant or even legal. Those old terms and conditions which haven’t been looked at for 10 years could mean that you don’t get paid for your work!
At Backhouse Solicitors we are experts in preparing contracts, terms and conditions for our clients. We will ask you the right questions to establish what it is you need and then prepare carefully tailored contracts to meet your needs.
What should be included in your contracts, terms and conditions?
For a bespoke piece of work you might need a quite detailed, tailored contract to cover the essentials of the work you are to do. Here are some basics which should be considered, even if they won’t all be applicable to all types of work:
- Definitions – who is the contract between?
- Pricing – standard price, discounts for early settlement or bulk purchase etc.
- Contact details and potentially response times
- Renewal terms and cancellation periods
- Payment terms – any credit terms, interest on late payment, penalties for late payment, how payment should be made, what happens on insolvency or bankruptcy etc.
- Delivery terms – how, when etc.
- Returns policy – how returns can be made, any enhanced rights over and above statutory rights etc
- Risk – when does legal title pass from the seller to the buyer
- Complaints and Disputes – time limits, procedures, including regulatory procedures if applicable
- Distance selling (if applicable) – this is important if you don’t meet your customers face to face
- Intellectual property rights – if applicable
- Guarantees, warranties and indemnities – if applicable
- Governing law in the event of a dispute, severability of contract terms, whole contract clauses etc
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of how detailed your terms and conditions might needed to be.
At Backhouse Solicitors, we are here to help. For more information and to book a free initial consultation with one of our expert solicitors, contact us today:
Tel: 01245 893400
Email: [email protected]
Visit: 17 Duke Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1JU
Or send us a message through the Contact Us page on this website.