Today we would just like to point out the importance of Contractual Terms & Conditions. You do have some don’t you?
Many people in business forget the importance of terms and conditions but you do so at your peril. Your Contractual Terms & Conditions are the fundamental basis of your relationship with your customer and if you don’t have any, your contract could be seen to have been accepted under your customer’s terms and conditions.
How can this be a problem? well, first of all, if you provide a quotation for the supply of goods or services to your customer, without implying any terms and conditions your quotation is viewed in Law as merely an advertisement and there is nothing binding your client.
Secondly, if your normal credit terms are say 30 days and you do not make this clear by stating this in your terms and conditions (don’t forget that you cannot imply terms on an invoice, as this is post-contractual) then your client may insist that their order was given on their own terms and conditions, which says that they will make payment 120 days (or more) after the date of delivery.
Furthermore, if your customer goes into liquidation and you are trying to recover your goods on the basis of retention of title and all that you have is a statement on your invoice which states that “title to the goods will not pass to the buyer until they are paid for in full” (as is common) then not only will you not get paid for the goods, but you will not be able to recover them either. The reason for this is that unless you can prove that the goods were supplied in accordance with your terms and conditions, the Liquidator will likely claim that the goods were ordered under the insolvent company’s terms and conditions and that the title to the goods passed on delivery.
Terms and Conditions are extremely important, it is not only important to have them, it is important that you incorporate them into your contracts also.
If you do not have terms and conditions, or if you are relying on the terms that you copied from the last company that you worked for or for a copy that you had drafted 10 years ago, it is likely that you are at great risk.
Give us a call and we will be happy to talk to you about this without obligation