Terms & Conditions
For many entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, getting in place written terms and conditions may not be high on the priority list, but getting it right is a key ingredient in ensuring healthy cash flow.
In the early days of trading, getting your product market ready, finding premises, finding customers and marketing can take a priority. Neglecting the less sexy part of your business can impact your cash flow, even if not in the early days, at some stage down the track.
In a worst-case scenario, you could end up spending a significant amount of time on chasing unpaid debts, resolving disputes and having sleepless nights with unnecessary stress. Ultimately, you could also end up spending lots of money on debt collection and legal costs or having to write off bad debts.
Protect your business
If you don’t have written terms and conditions, you put yourself at risk of uncertainty and misunderstandings. It’s important to establish the arrangement between yourself and your customer, so they have no opportunity to go back on their word.
If there is nothing in writing there is no proof, however, if the terms are in writing, it is evidence you can produce before a court if you need to.
What should T&Cs include?
Well-drafted terms should act like a recipe book for doing business and give clarity on what should happen in a given situation.
They should set out what the agreed terms are, and more importantly what happens if things go wrong. The exact ingredients for your T&Cs depend upon your business, however here are some considerations:
- A clear outline of what products or services you will be providing
- What the payment terms are and the consequences if payment is not made
- What guarantees or warranties will be in place
- Timeframes for delivery
- What happens if either party doesn’t deliver their side of the agreement
- The term of the agreement and what notice is required by either party wishes to end the agreement
- Which law shall govern the contract
One size doesn’t fit all
It’s important to make sure your terms and conditions are customised for your business. You can’t assume another business will have the same needs as yours. Avoid the temptation to copy someone else’s terms, they may not have even consulted a lawyer themselves.
It’s not worth cutting corners, what you spend now by doing it properly will potentially save you significant amounts should you ever need to engage a Lawyer.
Nothing can protect you like a set of terms and conditions written for your business, by a Lawyer.
If you would like to enquire about having your terms & conditions reviewed or having a new set drafted, please call us on 03 9629 8777 or click here to be directed to our ‘Contact Us’ page.