With the fist real sights of Spring in the air, as a business it may be time to consider whether your Terms and Conditions are in need of a spring clean and a freshen up.
Terms and conditions of contract, whether for supply of goods or for services to be delivered, are a vital point of reference for contracting parties. In the event that a dispute arises as to what was agreed contractually, well-drafted terms and conditions, properly incorporated into a contract, can be a lifeline. Time and money can be wasted on litigating as to what parties agreed in a contract and where liability would rest in the event of the contract not going according to plan. Being able to point to clear terms of contract and being able to demonstrate that these were accepted by the contracting parties, should assist in cutting down areas of dispute.
Terms and conditions can clearly define who the contracting parties are, define key contractual terms, set out what will happen on delivery and insurance arrangements, ensure there is a common understanding as to the quality and quantity of goods to be supplied, make it clear what happens if one of the parties should become insolvent whilst the contract is being performed, set out price and payment arrangements and, where appropriate, limit a contracting parties’ liability if certain things go wrong.
The more bespoke the goods or services to be supplied are, the wiser it is to have carefully drafted terms and conditions that describe accurately the deal reached between the parties. Businesses that produce a “one-off” product for a specialist business customer need to be particularly careful that they cover-off what will happen is the other party cannot pay for specially-produced product that does not have a wide re-sale market.
So as well as reaching for the duster and polish this Spring, businesses should also think about whether their current terms and conditions remain fit for purpose or whether it is time to re-visit them to ensure that they remain relevant and useful.