Legal Issues for Sales Management
Why do I need terms and conditions?
Having a properly written set of terms and conditions (or Ts and Cs) in place can help you protect your business interests when you’re trading with other businesses or consumers. They should set out various processes such as payment, delivery and returns so that both parties know what to expect prior to any transaction taking place. This can lead to a smoother way of doing business and reduce the possibility of disputes further down the line.
What kind of Ts and Cs should be applied to goods?
If you’re selling goods, your business will face a specific set of challenges, many of which can be tackled with effective Ts and Cs. As well as being aware of your obligations regarding any faulty goods, you’ll need to plan in advance how to deal with the situation where customers wish to return goods for other reasons; how lenient will your returns policy be? Also, how will you manage deliveries, particularly in the case of bulky goods?
What kind of Ts and Cs should be applied to services?
Businesses which supply a service need to keep an eye on timing of delivery, particularly if manual labour is part of the service, such as plumbing or building work. What are the completion dates and what happens if these can’t be met for certain reasons? What happens if a customer is unhappy with the service or wants to end a contract? These are the types of questions which should be addressed in Ts and Cs for suppliers of services.
What are the considerations for consumers?
There is a lot of legislation which protects the interests of consumers, including the Consumer Rights Act2015. B2C companies need to ensure that their Ts and Cs protect their business interests within the constraints of consumer protections.
What if I provide any credit facilities?
If you provide hire purchase or any other credit facilities to customers and the circumstances fall within the scope of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, all aspects of the arrangements will be regulated by that Act. This is a technical area on which you would need expert advice. (You need to bear in mind that the Act applies not only where the customer is a single individual consumer but also for other types of customer.)
Do I need special Ts and Cs if I’m a manufacturer or reseller?
If an ongoing business relationship is being negotiated, such as for the supply of goods to a manufacturer or reseller, it will be useful to reach an agreement which goes beyond a set of standard Ts and Cs. Issues such as liability and intellectual property may need to be taken into account.
How do I change or terminate a contractual agreement?
If your commercial situation changes, it may be necessary to consider changing certain terms of a contractual agreement for the supply of goods or services - or even to bring the agreement to an end. It’s important to know how to do this efficiently and effectively.
A variety of terms and conditions documents can be downloaded from our Business Documents Folder. Click on any relevant templates in the list, below, for further information.