Business Buzz: It’s all in the Fine Print

Business Buzz: It’s all in the Fine Print

Have you ever stopped and wondered why businesses have terms and conditions?

It is about making clear, what legal liabilities sit with the customer, the service provider / supplier and overall, it governs that relationship.

With an endless list of tasks that comes with setting up a business, drawing up terms and conditions can be at the bottom of your list of priorities and as the business grows, this important aspect can fall by the wayside, often giving way to a half-hearted and ill-considered attempt. If you, as a business owner, have terms and conditions which are not lawful or enforceable and do protect your rights, then you might as well have none.

Let’s consider the obligation to pay.  Seven day terms are typical in Cairns for small business.  A customer, after three days, decides to not pay, because the item failed.  Upon inspection, it is clear, they did not use it as per manufacturer specifications.

How will you get paid?

There are two issues here:

  1. They might be able to ‘set off’ the cost, resulting in you not being able to recover the money and;
  2. The cost to you to enforce the debt could be hefty.

Good terms and conditions will cover off dozens of common issues, including a no set off rule and providing an indemnity for their failure to pay on time.

Wilson Partners Law are offering Cairns Small Businesses a free health check for terms and conditions in February 2017 and would love to assist business with the important stuff.