Welcome to the new year!
“Terms and Conditions apply.”
Those four words can make a big difference to your business. So, are they working for you? Or are you not even sure?
This time of year is often a quiet time for businesses. So, why don’t you take this opportunity to review your business documents and make sure they still apply? A great start would be checking your terms and conditions – you probably use them every day.
Let’s go through the top three things you need to check when reviewing your business’ terms and conditions to ensure they’re protecting you correctly.
What are business terms and conditions?
Your business’ terms and conditions, or T&Cs, are the rules that your customers must agree to when they make use of your products and/or services. It details what they can and cannot do as well as the limits of your offerings to them (and in accordance with Australian Consumer Law, where applicable).
T&Cs also outline what the repercussions are should any party (whether your business or the customer) fail to follow the agreement. This way, the agreement protects the interests of both your customers and your business from legal liability.
In Australia, while the terms and conditions are legally enforceable, not all customers take the time to read them. In fact, it has been found that around 33% of Australians never read Privacy Policies or Terms and Conditions.
This, however, is no reason to just leave your T&Cs.
If they’re out of date or poorly written, they could leave you liable or exposed.
Why review your Ts&Cs at the start of the year?
Commercial lawyers recommend that you review your T&Cs every year. This helps ensure that your documents are up to date to mitigate the risks of disputes or any legal trouble when dealing with customers.
“But my Ts&Cs were prepared by a lawyer, and I’ve never had any trouble for years.”
Well, if you never had any trouble, then that’s good!
However, it can be just a matter of time
Eventually, disputes happen – it’s not a matter of if, but when. So, there’s no harm in checking your terms and conditions every so often to avoid any possible future complications.
The start of the year is a great time to review your Ts&Cs because:
- the business is not too busy at this time;
- you can still recall any possible issues when it comes to Ts&Cs in the past year;
- you have more headspace as you look forward to the coming year; and
- you have an idea of where you are headed over the next 12 months.
So, why not take this opportunity to protect your business from any future legal issues?
The top 3 things you should check when reviewing your business’ T&Cs
We’ve worked on numerous terms and conditions for various businesses in a range of industries. Here are some of the main aspects we look out for:
- Payment Terms
Among the top concerns for businesses and customers alike are the payment terms and conditions. So, it’s a must to ensure that these are clarified in your Ts&Cs. This way, you can ensure that:
- you’re getting paid correctly
- you’re getting paid on time
- your customers are getting exactly what they pay for
You need to get these right to avoid future disagreements regarding your business’ payment terms and conditions.
- Service Delivery
Service delivery is also among the top concern for consumers. This is why you need to provide clear terms for what, how and when you undertake service delivery.
It helps to always check:
- the scope and limitations of your offering
- the timetables you’re following
- the rules you set in terms of service quality and customer satisfaction
These may sound self-explanatory, but you should never assume anything. All of these details can be clarified with a well-drafted (and recently updated) T&Cs document.
- Legal Liabilities
These details are also essential to make sure that your business is protected from lawsuits and legal challenges.
You want to make sure that one mistake does not ruin the entirety of your business – so, it’s important to have a legally binding document that you can refer to so your business is sufficiently protected.
Bonus Tip: Check your T&Cs language
One of the main reasons why business terms and conditions can cause complications is because they are often written with complex legal jargon that typical consumers cannot understand.
This is why, at Reeve Law, we make sure that the T&Cs we draft are written in plain English, understandable and not intimidating. This way, your T&Cs will remain functional and useful, as both you and your customers can easily understand them.
This is also the best way to avoid misunderstandings that may lead to conflicts.
Reeve Law can help you review your business’ T&Cs as you start the new year
Now is the best time to review your business’ terms and conditions – as this will set the tone for the entire year.
That’s why you need the right business and commercial law team at Reeve Law.
Through our comprehensive business and commercial law services and friendly approach, we make sure that your concerns are addressed, your questions are answered, and your rights are protected.
Speak to us today for a no-obligation consult and start your year right with a T&Cs review.
Level 13, 333 George Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000
0427 135 368