Partner and Head of Wills & Estate Planning at Andrew & Co Solicitors Helen Newson writes...
Terms of Trading
As a business owner you will be entering into contracts for the sale or purchase of all kinds of goods and services. Included in the contract you will often find what are known as "standard terms and conditions" of trading (Terms), in other words, the terms on which the business is willing to do business with you.
The idea behind Terms is that when a business carries out a high volume of similar transactions it can use them in order to provide consistency and certainty to its customers with a view to avoiding lengthy and costly contract negotiations.
Before agreeing to any set of Terms, there are however a number of issues that you should consider, for example, what are the consequences of late payment or delivery? At what point in time does risk and ownership of goods pass from the seller to the buyer? What warranties is your business giving or accepting? Are they negotiable in any way? These and many other issues should be considered.
As Terms are usually, though not always, non-negotiable, it is important to understand from a 'risk' point of view exactly what it is that your business is committing to agree to. A 'fixed price' review of Terms is one service that we can offer you which will highlight the risks so that you can manage them more effectively. We can also draft bespoke Terms that will help you to do business on terms that are more favourable to you than the other party, although a fair and balanced approach often works better if you are seeking to foster lasting business relationships with customers and sellers. We would be happy to advise you on all aspects of dealing with your standard terms and conditions.
If you would like further information or to make an appointment with a member of our Corporate & Commercial team, please contact us on 01522 512123 (Lincoln) or 01636 673743 (Newark).