Terms and Conditions act as the backbone of your agreements and you should ensure they lay out your demands effectively. Solid Terms and Conditions that you keep consistent can save your bacon if debt recovery becomes necessary!
“If you are a business with ambitions, make sure you nail down your Terms and Conditions.”
DOs and DON’Ts for Ts and Cs
- Do have a look at the standard Terms and Conditions at www.simply-docs.co.uk. These can be used as a template.
- Do ensure you get your Terms thoroughly checked by a solicitor if you choose to copy someone else’s or use standard Terms from a website.
- Do use recognised Terms. Your respective trade association can often provide these and they fall in line with the laws of the country you are based in. This will aid consistency and assist resolution in the event of any dispute.
- Do ensure that any retention of title clause is included if you are supplying goods. This means that the goods remain property of the seller until the buyer fulfills full payment. It also means the goods can be repossessed by the seller if the buyer falls into bankruptcy.
- Do consider obtaining a minimum of 2 trade references in addition to your Terms. These are useful statements from other companies that you have existing business or credit with.
- Don’t do business with notes on the back of cigarette packets or practise IOU’s! – Ensure your contracts and agreements are properly and professionally laid out, with full Terms and Conditions clearly accessible from the outset.
- Don’t forget to mention, if you are supplying goods by delivery you will only accept the delivery receipt signature of an authorised director or employee of the company. Do state that your goods cannot be signed for by anyone who isn’t previously agreed by both parties and ensure everyone is aware of this.
- Don’t forget to include any contractual interest which becomes payable should a customer pay late. A penalty clause for customers who miss or fail to make a payment can also be included; this can cover any extra costs that the missed or tardy payment has incurred to you. A penalty clause will also encourage customers to make prompt payment in future.