The devil is in the detail: Why your business needs written terms & conditions.

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Do you want to be paid on time for all of
your hard work? Do you want a set of guidelines to assist you when things go
wrong with a customer? Do you want clarity for you and your customers as to
what service you are providing and under what conditions?

If you are selling a product or offering a
service, written terms and conditions of business are absolutely essential.  Terms and conditions establish the business
relationship between you and your customers. 
If they are well written they will protect your business and provide
clarity & guidance in the event of any misunderstanding.

Having terms and conditions that are clear
and unambiguous will reflect in writing the actual agreement that you are
making with your customers.  The terms and conditions should set out the
roles, responsibilities and payment terms of your agreement.  This, in
turn, will assist your cash-flow as customers are fully aware as to when and
how much you require them to pay for services or goods provided to date. 

The terms & conditions should also
provide detail as to what happens when things go wrong and one party is unable
to fulfil their side of the bargain.

The devil is in the detail and your business may
have particular requirements that are not at all relevant to another
business.  Your terms and conditions should be tailored to suit your
individual business needs.  However, certain terms are common to all
businesses and you should give some thought to these, namely:-

·       Defining
the exact product or service you are providing.

·       Detailing
any guarantees or warranties that you are offering.

·       Establishing
payment terms – is a deposit required? When is the final payment due?  Are
credit terms being offered?  Are there penalties for late payment?  What is your cancellation policy?

·       Setting
timelines for the provision of services or the delivery of goods.

·       Jurisdiction
clause – this determines which country’s laws will govern the contract.

·       Complaints
and resolving disputes.

·       Notice
periods for termination of the contract.


It is helpful when drawing up the
requirements for your terms and conditions of business to prepare a list of the
core terms of business you want to offer your customers.  Then imagine
dealing with a most difficult customer and consider all the ways in which
things could go wrong.  With those
difficult scenarios in mind structure your terms and conditions so you are
clear as to how you would deal with them.

Douglas Law Solicitors we take the time to get to know our clients’ businesses
and ensure that the terms and conditions we prepare suit their specific


more information please contact Aoife McCarthy or Gráinne O’Donovan on 021 489
7256 or by email at
[email protected] or [email protected]




[email protected]