What goes in your terms and conditions?

Standard terms and conditions are one of the most important legal documents when operating a business.

Jack Stephenson Harrison Drury

By Jack Stephenson, solicitor - corporate and commercial, Harrison Drury

Regardless of the type of business you operate (for example whether you provide goods or services), terms and conditions should be put in place to document exactly what it is that you have agreed to provide for your charges.

A few important terms to consider include:

Payment terms: This is particularly important if the full payment is not made up front. Your T&Cs should set out exactly when payment is required and what happens if it is not made on time (for example interest being payable or you being entitled to terminate the agreement).

Quality: You may wish to include clauses that relate to the quality of the goods or services you provide.

Liability: The T&Cs should protect the business against liabilities that may arise if, for example, there is a breach of the agreement by you or your employees. The courts control the use of such clauses; therefore it is important that professional advice is sought. Boilerplate: Most agreements contain standard ‘boilerplate’ clauses that relate to issues such as:

  • The choice and law and jurisdiction (this is particularly relevant if your customers are based in another country).
  • Variation – For example how the terms of the agreement can be varied.
  • Force Majeure – This type of provision can provide protection in the event that you are unable to perform the contract for reasons outside of your control (for example due to an ‘act of god’).