Why should your business have terms and conditions?
The purpose of terms and conditions
Whether you are selling goods, services, digital content or a mixture, it’s
important to have a properly written set of terms and conditions (also
known as Ts and Cs) to protect your business interests. Ts and Cs
essentially set out an agreed way of doing business and provide a method of
resolving various scenarios. This results in a smoother sales process,
fewer disputes and a clearer method of resolution for any problems which
may crop up. Although Ts and Cs should be written in a way as to be
favourable to your business, there are certain terms which are governed by
statute, particularly when it comes to consumers, so not everything can be
covered in an agreement. Furthermore, it’s important to ensure that your
customers are actually aware of all the terms of a sale in order for them
to be effective.
What kind of terms should I include?
The content of your Ts and Cs will be largely dependent on the type of
business you run. A software developer will have a significantly different
set of considerations compared to a plumber. So it’s important that you
identify any industry-specific scenarios and cater for these, as far as
possible, in your terms. However, there are certain aspects of business
which are universal:
• product - what exactly is it that you’re selling?
• payment - what’s the cost and when should you be paid?
• delivery - how quickly do you need to provide your product?
• liability - how far are you liable if something goes wrong, do you
provide any guarantees or warranties?
• ending the relationship - what happens if your customer decides they
don’t want your product (and how long are they bound to any service
There are also certain terms which are required to be included by law,
specifically with regard to businesses engaging in e-commerce.
How do Ts and Cs help my business?
Many businesses waste a lot of money on chasing up payments and collecting
debts. Although there are statutory recourses for late payment, it’s far
better to agree on when you will be paid in advance to avoid any legal
wrangling. In terms of liability, setting this out at the start will means
that both you and your customers will share the same expectations. Other Ts
and Cs will further strengthen the basis for any business relationship and
help you plan for the future.
A variety of Terms and Conditions relevant to your particular business
can be downloaded from our Business Documents Folder. Click on any
relevant templates in the list, below, for further information.