It's all in the small print

Wednesday 27th January 2021

Getting paid is essential to your business! Terms and Conditions should set out what your payment terms are, when the deposits are due, when final payments are due, what happens if they are not received, what your refund policy is, whether you charge interest on late payments and what the payment actually covers. Not having these specifics leaves you at the mercy of the reasonableness rules in the Sale of Goods Act and the Sale of Goods and Services Act.

Times for delivery of services and goods can be vitally important to your customers. Timings however are sometimes out of your hands in relation to preparation (missing the big event is not something you would be able to get out of!) and so terms and conditions can give you flexibility in relation to this and can limit your liability if an “act of God” means you cannot perform your responsibilities.

Oh no they changed their minds! Having clear terms and conditions regarding cancellation or termination of the contract can save difficult conversations later.

Your terms and conditions should set out exactly what you are and are not providing. You want to be able to exclude things that have been said in meetings or over email or last minute changes of mind and just point to the specifics agreed in the contract.

Written terms and conditions should set out reasonable limits on your liability, what you are and are not responsible for and in what circumstances. Consumers will have statutory rights and you cannot override those but you can in some cases take the benefit of certain provisions, but only if you have specifically said so in writing. You can be much stricter with business customers but you still need to ensure you are being reasonable.