Before you deal with new customers (especially suppliers), clients are well advised to pay careful attention to the terms and conditions to which any particular contract is governed. Standard terms and conditions may cover
* The price
* Any exclusions of liability and warranties
* The method of delivery and the retention of title of goods.
Carefully drafted terms and conditions can give you some protection and you should always give your customer reasonable notice of them. The mistake often made is that client’s think their terms of business are incorporated into the contracts if they are noted on their invoices. Unfortunately, the contract is usually complete by the time the invoice has been sent out and, as such, those terms are not incorporated. You should place either the terms and conditions themselves or notification of their existence on any quotes that you give. If your customer/client sends you a purchase order, an acknowledgement of such order should be sent out again referring to your terms and conditions. If at all possible, your customer should sign to say that they have accepted your terms and conditions before they have entered into the contract.
We can assist you in drafting bespoke terms and conditions that suit your particular type of business. If you need assistance with distribution agreements and franchises and other specialist contracts, we can also offer advice and guidance in this respect.