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"Who reads the small print anyway..." they say

The importance of commercial terms and conditions

Have you bought anything online recently? Had your vehicle serviced? Applied for a new credit card? We are constantly purchasing goods and services and entering into contracts left right and centre – but how many of us honestly spend the time to carefully read through (and understand) the terms and conditions?

The reality is that the majority of us do not. Our minds are overruled by the simple fact that we need a particular product or service and if we don’t tick the “I accept” box we cannot fulfil that need. The consequences of signing the small print without spending the time to examine it only seem to unravel once something goes wrong…like when you break your collarbone whilst snowboarding in the Alps and realise that your travel insurance doesn’t cover extreme sports.

We live in a world where the need for commercial terms is becoming more and more important. Not only as a consumer or customer but perhaps more importantly as a provider of any product or service. When was the last time you reviewed your Company’s T&Cs? Many businesses, in the absence of commercial terms find themselves stuck when they are hit with a claim in relation to a particular part of their product/service. Commercial terms are the basis of the binding contract between you and the end user. Those terms are therefore vital to your Company and should not be overlooked. Whilst, as we all know the reality is that the user may not read the terms in full, you as the Company must be able to show that the user has taken an active step to agree to your T&Cs (usually by way of the tick of a box online or a signature to confirm that you have read and understood the terms). Regardless of whether they have actually read the terms, using tailored and accurately drafted commercial terms of business will help to make all parties aware of their rights and obligations from the outset thus allowing you to focus your energy on agreeing and negotiating the specifics of a particular order or deal.

So what is covered?

What is actually being provided and are there any other items to consider?
How do you execute the contract?
How much are you being paid and what happens if payments are not made on time?
What does your client have to do for you?
Are there any Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) to consider?
Who is responsible for what and for how long?

Our Corporate Commercial team at Bright Solicitors can assist you with putting your commercial terms in place in order to protect your business and ensure that they are in line with current legislation. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your “standard terms” are tailored to your individual needs.

Our team also has experience with drafting and implementing website compliance documents (terms of use) in order to protect your website. Whilst these documents are fairly generic, it is important that they are updated every now and then. Any generic terms for the provision of goods or services or an e-commerce site will always need to be drafted on a case by case basis. Ongoing updates to the law mean that such compliance documents must not be overlooked.