Why should you have terms and conditions in place?

Why do I need T’s and C’s?

Every company needs some form of agreement to provide a product or service to a customer. These are usually called Terms and Conditions however you may see them called Terms of Use, Terms of Reference or Terms of Acceptance, which generally mean the same thing.

They’re all documents outlining what your company will or won’t do, what your product or service should or shouldn’t do, and a few other things as well. Typically, you’ll ask your customer to agree to the Terms and Conditions before they use your product or service.

Consent to the agreement can be given verbally in person, or over the telephone, or by signing a physical document. Online/Electronic consent is usually obtained using a small tick-box with the words “I have read and agree to the Terms and Conditions” which must be ticked in order to continue. There should also be a link to another page where the customer can read the Terms and Conditions in full.

Terms and Conditions are used to protect both your company and your customer.

Contracts - best practice

Contracts – best practice

Inspire Confidence

Having visible Terms and Conditions can inspire confidence and improve your company reputation. It’s also more likely your customers will be happy to use your product or service, knowing they are protected and, in their eyes, you are perceived to be a more reputable business than a company without Terms and Conditions.

Minimise Disputes

Having everything laid out in black and white means both you and your customer can refer to the document should anything go wrong with their experience of your product or service. You can add clauses to protect your company if, for example, you are let down by a supplier, if there is a delay providing the product or service, or even if there is a theft, damage, or other failure to deliver.

Legal Compliance

When providing a product or service to a third party there are laws and regulations your company must comply with and these are generally listed in your Terms and Conditions to show your compliance within your industry.

Protect Your Company

Having Terms and Conditions means you can easily identify any breach of contract. For example, if you specify 30 days for payment and a customer doesn’t pay you can point out their non-compliance with your Terms and Conditions and take appropriate action. This might be as simple as switching off access to an online service, retrieving a physical product, or taking a customer to court for non-payment.

Own Your Product or Service

Many companies include clauses in their Terms and Conditions which specify who owns the product or service and the intellectual property rights and copyright permissions.

Having robust Terms and Conditions in place is essential for the smooth running of your company. It can help avoid disputes before they occur and boost your reputation as a professional business. Once your Terms and Conditions have been written they can be adapted and updated as your company changes over time.

I can help write your Terms and Conditions or look over your existing Terms and Conditions, making any suggestions if it looks like something is missing. Please contact me if you would like any help with this.

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