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Don't Neglect Your T&Cs!

View profile for Simon Porter
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Inevitably, all businesses will have different priorities from one another in terms of income generation and business development. These can range from product and brand development, to increasing market share, increasing revenue, or growing client lists. While the precise way in which any given business would give priority to the above will vary, most would agree that all are important to a business’ success.

Something that is frequently overlooked, or pushed to the bottom of the pile for another day, is ensuring that the business has a fully tailored set of terms and conditions for use with clients or customers.

Many businesses have some form of terms and conditions in place although, rather alarmingly, in many cases these have merely been copied from somewhere on the internet. Very often, these will be wholly inappropriate for the way in which they conduct their own business, or for the market in which they operate. Bespoke terms and conditions are important for a wide variety of reasons, some of which are legal and some of which are practical and commercial.

A good set of terms and conditions will provide clear, easily digestible provisions covering, among other things, the goods/services to be provided, delivery terms, when and how payment is to be made, the allocation of risk and the liability that each party is willing to accept. By documenting these points, the scope for misunderstanding between the parties is substantially reduced.

An effective set of terms and conditions can also be utilised as a marketing tool to sell goods/services in a professional manner and provide a solid foundation from which a business can grow and flourish.

Businesses are often somewhat unenthusiastic about implementing a bespoke set of terms and conditions, typically due to a concern that their customers, and they themselves, will be confronted by legal jargon which may not reflect their brand or feel particularly engaging. It is, admittedly, difficult to get excited about what is often perceived to be pages upon pages of small-print. However, terms and conditions need not be drafted in an over-complicated way. Concise and effective drafting will benefit all parties in understanding and delivering on their commercial relationship.

Unfortunately, many businesses will only review their terms and conditions when something has gone wrong, at which point it will be too late.

If you would like to discuss the use of a bespoke set of terms and conditions for your business, please contact Simon Porter, Head of BakerLaw’s Corporate & Commercial Department at simon.porter@baker-law.co.uk or call 01252 730 754 to discuss.

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