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Five Ways to Write Terms and Conditions For Your Business

OK, so you want some terms and conditions for your business. What are your options? There are just 5 to choose from:

1. Write your own. 2. Download a template from the web. 3. Let your solicitor or lawyer have a go. 4. Copy some terms from a competitor. 5. Let a credit management specialist write your terms.

Whichever option you choose should depend upon why you need business terms and conditions. Do you want some professional-looking text simply to look, well, professional? If so, then all you need to do is choose Option 2 i.e. download a cheap generic set of terms from the web.

If, however, your business will be offering goods or services on credit then you need a set of business terms suited for this purpose. This is because a great set has the ability to:

i) help prevent late payment by your customers or debtors. ii) give you real options in case of late payment or non-payment by your customers.

1. Write your own. If you have some legal training or higher education in commercial and contract law, then you could draft your own terms. But how long would it take you? And how can you be sure that you include everything important, especially from a credit management perspective?

2. Download a template from the web. If you are on a tight budget then this might be an option. But do you know who wrote the original terms and conditions template? Do they work in practice? How will they stand up in court if you need to enforce your rights? Who will create the additional clauses you’ll need for your particular business and industry? How much customisation is possible? And, again, how can you be sure that they include everything important, especially from a credit management perspective.

3. Let your local solicitor or lawyer have a go. Yes, they have the training. But in practice, how many sets of terms do they create for local businesses on a regular basis? One or two a month is usual because many solicitors are also busy focusing upon divorce, conveyancing, probate and litigation work. And the biggest question here is how much will a solicitor charge you for a fully bespoke set of terms and conditions?

In one shocking example, we saw a UK client with a little over half a page of clauses in his terms after having been charged over £3000 (US$4800) by his solicitor. Although your terms need not be lengthy to be effective, you do not need to be charged excessive amounts. In another example, the terms available online from a major UK professional body with a royal charter are over nine pages long and yet still have 5 key credit management areas completely absent with a further 7 areas requiring improvement.

4. Copy from a competitor. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to copy a competitor’s terms and conditions. If you are caught, then there could be financial penalties and even worse, the negative publicity to suffer as a consequence. Recent European legal cases can be quoted that illustrate the perils of this route.

In any case, the copied terms are rarely sufficient to protect the business fully. This deficiency is usually due to either lack of relevant credit management terms or the absence of clauses which address key legislation such as the Data Protection Act, Sale of Goods Act etc.

5. Ask credit management specialists to create your business terms and conditions. If chosen carefully, they’ll draft a fully-customised set of terms and conditions that will be right for your business from the get-go. Make sure they are aware of the various permutations necessary for each industry sector. It is possible to word your terms so that your business can benefit financially from a free debt collection service and from massive improvements in your cash-flow. So look for a credit management professional that can not only write your business terms and client documentation but also show you how to leverage them to best effect to gradually educate your clients to pay you on time. And if you succeed here, then that will have a very positive impact on your business cashflow.

Network Marketing Terms And Conditions

When you sign up for a new credit card, you know that there is a 5 or 6 page document full of terms and conditions, legal jargon, and technical “talk”, somewhere in the intro pack. The same is true, but to an even greater extent, when you take out an insurance policy. In fact, almost anything you buy, use, or pay money for will come with a list of policies and procedures you must adhere to.

In reality, we rarely pay any attention to these. We assume that these documents are just a legal necessity, and probably won’t ever apply to us. Hence we happily sign our names at the bottom of the form, confident that we are doing the right thing.

Interestingly, this is no different for this type of business opportunity. Anyone who has signed up for such a project – whether it be online or in real life – has probably inadvertently sideswiped the issue, and just signed the joining documents anyway. After all, who has time to read 40 or 50 pages of technical, legal jargon?

Well, having read this article to the end, you may be persuaded to give the manual and any accompanying documents a decent review before you rush in to ventures of this nature in the future. Why? Here are some things you probably didn’t realize about the contracts you will be signing.

– You can still be fired!

Just because you are responsible for the activities in your network marketing business, there is no immunity from getting the boot. Deep within the terms and conditions of most businesses of this type is a clause informing you that if the business provider you signed up with doesn’t like your sales tactics, business outlook, or even your business model – you can promptly be “excluded” from the program.

Harsh? Maybe, but then again the opportunity provider does need to protect itself.

– There are regulations on marketing techniques.

If you thought that the task of marketing products was a free-for-all activity, think again. Network marketing business providers have very strict regulations of the ways in which you are able to publicize and advertise their products. Getting caught with a campaign that breaks the rules will almost certainly result in your partnership being terminated.

– ALL consumer laws still apply.

If your jurisdiction has laws governing the sale of products to the public (which all of them do), you will need to adhere to these regulations as well as the ones imposed by the opportunity provider. Once again, failure to do so could result in termination of your contract – and even legal action if the breach is serious enough.

As you have probably picked up on by now, the policies and clauses in the terms & conditions manual are heavily slanted in the business providers’ favour. To ensure that you don’t wind up breaching the contract you may be about to sign, take these documents away and run through them with a lawyer or professional.

This way, you can work to eliminate any legal risks you may face, before you have the liability slapped upon you unexpectedly. Yes, this will cost you money, however it may also protect you from losing larger amounts of money in the future.

10 Reasons Why You Must Have Terms And Conditions For Your Business

Are you are setting up in business, buying or growing an existing business or simply reviewing and taking stock? Wherever your business is, you should always ensure you have comprehensive Terms and Conditions and that they are up to date.

All businesses of every type and size need to have Terms and Conditions in place and here are 10 reasons why:

1. They provide certainty in case of any conflict or disagreement between the business and its’ customers or suppliers

2. They will be bespoke to your particular area of business and can be tailored to meet your exacting industry needs.

3. They will protect interests that you may not have considered such as limiting your liability in certain circumstances or dictating exactly when ownership in goods passes.

4. It will save you time and money in case of potential disputes and may prevent any costly Court action being.

5. It shows that you take running and managing your business seriously and expertly and potential customers and clients can take comfort that the product or service that you provide is professional and legitimate.

6. They can provide evidence of compliance with individual industry legal requirements.

7. It provides peace of mind that you can get on with running your business safe in the knowledge that this part of the business is protected.

8. They will save time at the point of sale and can be incorporated into purchase orders and delivery notes leaving you to deal with the fundamental issues such as price and delivery.

9. Your customers and clients rights will also be safeguarded and they can take comfort in that you are providing them with a clear and concise procedure in case things go wrong and how any complaints will be handled.

10. In case of any change in the direction of the business or in the law itself, Terms can be altered fairly easily and quickly ensuring that you are kept as protected as possible and that you are complying with the law.

Having a comprehensive and robust set of Terms and Conditions should be a primary consideration for any business owner. Many commercial law experts have seen from experience the difficulties caused and the disruptions to business. These disruptions inevitably incur costs to the business as a direct result of not having these in place or by simply not updating and reviewing existing terms regularly. Therefore, it makes perfect sense, that by having Terms and Conditions professionally drafted, business owners can have the security and the peace of mind in the knowledge that they are protecting their business and complying with the law.