Why you should include Terms and conditions

Terms and conditions

Contracts, including terms and conditions setting out the basis on which goods or services are sold, are a vital part of business. Whether goods and services are sold on a standard basis or to specification, standard terms and conditions of sale are a core part of most businesses. The specific, or unique, aspects of the sale (eg, any unique specifications, quantity, delivery dates) are set out in a separate order. Make sure that you protect your business interests with professionally prepared Ts & Cs.

Standard terms and conditions for the sale of goods or supply of services help to make everyone aware of their rights and obligations from the outset and allow the parties to focus their energy on agreeing the specifics of a particular order. When it comes to consumers, there is in addition a considerable amount of legislation, aimed at protecting consumers, which must be taken into account when drafting Ts & Cs.

Terms and conditions for sale of goods to business customers

Although agreements for the sale of goods can be made verbally, it’s always better to have something in writing and sometimes this is a requirement. When dealing with another business, the parties are generally more free to agree terms of business between themselves than when dealing with consumers, as there is a lot of consumer protection legislation. So, when using standard terms and conditions, it’s particularly important to make sure you know who you are dealing with and whether they are purchasing for a business or a consumer. The main advantage of using standard Ts & Cs is that they give you control over how the goods are sold.Ts and Cs for the sale of goods to business customers cover a whole range of matters, which can include orders, delivery, pricing, payment, risk, warranties, defects, liability and confidentiality.

Terms and conditions for supply of services to business customers

Provision of services to other businesses will require different Ts & Cs compared to the sale of goods. There are issues such as timing and termination of supply which are unique to these types of contract. Once again, although binding contracts can be made verbally, it’s far better to put in place watertight terms and conditions of service. Ts & Cs for the supply of services to business customers may deal with issues such as orders, specifications, obligations, pricing, payment, intellectual property, confidentiality, warranties, liability and termination.

Terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers

When you are selling goods to customers not acting in the course of a business, your terms and conditions are more restricted as a result of consumer legislation, such as the Consumer Contracts Regulations. However, this makes it even more important that your Ts & Cs are professionally written, to take account of the various consumer rules, failing which the Ts & Cs could be invalid. You should demonstrate that you are aware of all your duties when dealing with a consumer and outlining their rights and obligations will help to avoid future problems. Properly prepared containing terms and conditions for sale of goods to consumers will deal with issues such as orders, delivery, pricing, payment, guarantees, cancellation, liability and data protection.

Terms and conditions for supply of services to consumers

If you’re providing services to consumers, you’ll have to take account of issues such as timing or termination, so this type of Ts & Cs will be different from one dealing with the sale of goods. Consumer legislation also imposes different kinds of rules when it comes to services, such as the right of a consumer to cancel within 14 days of entering into a service contract. It’s important that your business-to-consumer terms and conditions for supply of service are straightforward and comprehensive so that customers know where they stand and needless disputes can be avoided. The Ts & Cs should cover a range of key issues such as orders, supply, customer responsibilities, pricing, payment, guarantees, liability, cancellation and termination and data protection.

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