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The start of a new year is a great time to review your business’ legal documents to ensure they are up to date and that they continue to accurately reflect how your business operates.

Terms and conditions are a key document which business owners should review periodically.  When reviewing your terms and conditions you should always reflect on prior situations where transactions and/or dealings with your clients did not go as planned or smoothly, and think about how you can amend your terms and conditions to better protect your business in the future. You will likely need legal advice to ensure these amendments are properly drafted and do not compromise any other provisions which are already set out in the terms and conditions.

It is also important to note that the law is constantly evolving, and your current terms and conditions may no longer be up to date. There could be legal changes which are implemented to provide better protection for you and your business that need to be included in your terms and conditions. For example, the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) was introduced to allow entities to secure their business assets. This is a great tool to secure payment of products which may be provided to the client on credit. The PPSR may only be utilised if your terms and conditions permit it and contain certain matters. Accordingly, it is important to seek regular legal advice to ensure you receive maximum benefit from the law to protect your business.

Further, the below matters should also be reviewed and clearly outlined in your terms and conditions:

  1. The scope of work, including the product(s) and/or service(s) which will be provided;
  2. Timeline for the delivery of the product(s) and/or service(s);
  3. The appropriate guarantees and waivers regarding your product(s) and/or service(s);
  4. Your payment terms;
  5. What happens if a client defaults on payment.  Whether the client will be charged interest on any outstanding monies owed;
  6. When the parties can terminate the contract and who will liable for any losses incurred if the contract is terminated;
  7. Your right to amend the terms and conditions upon providing reasonable notice to your client;
  8. What the parties should do in the event there is a dispute over the product(s) and / or service(s); and
  9. Which law governs the contract between the parties.

The above is by no means an exhaustive list and it is important to remember that one size does not fit all.  Your terms and conditions should be specific and customised to your business’ needs to properly protect your business and avoid misunderstandings with your clients.

At Clarke Hemmerling Lawyers we are experienced in preparing and reviewing terms and conditions.  Please contact us on 08 8333 2130 should you have any questions or require any assistance with the same.

This blog was written by Kaviytha Raman, Associate at Clarke Hemmerling Lawyers.

This blog post does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is a general commentary on matters that may be of interest to you.  Formal legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on any matter arising from this communication.