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Being a business owner means that you must protect yourself from any issues that crop up from time to time. Something that many business owners face is dealing with their liability when it comes to the goods or services they sell. Consequently, businesses often limit their liability by using terms and conditions. Specifically, customers must agree to a certain set of terms and conditions before they can buy a business’ product or service. However, many terms and conditions are long and convoluted. They also might not protect a business as well as they could. Therefore, this article will explain how you can write your terms and conditions yourself, and ensure that it is effective for your business’ goals. 

What are Terms and Conditions?

If you are a business that provides a service, you should use terms and conditions. A set of terms and conditions acts as the legal agreement between you and customers who want to use your business’ products. The terms and conditions may include exclusion clauses or disclaimers. Additionally, terms and conditions are particularly common for websites and online services. Importantly, when you draft your terms and conditions, you must draft them to protect your business’ interests.

How to Draft Your Own Terms and Conditions

Know Your Business Objectives

The first thing you should do when drafting your terms and conditions is to make sure that you clearly know the objectives of your business. This allows you to draft your terms and conditions in a way that reflects those objectives.

Your business objectives should contain what goods and services you sell and how your consumers will receive them.

Identify Business Issues

In addition to setting out your business objectives, you should look at any issues that might crop up from selling your goods and services. Once you identify those issues, you will be able to draft your terms and conditions to mitigate them accordingly. One way you can do this is to look to your competitors and see what problems they face. However, you must still ensure that your terms and conditions are reasonable. This is because unreasonable terms and conditions that unfairly favour your business may not be enforceable.

Use Plain Language

Terms and conditions are there for your consumers to agree to them. This means it is always best to ensure that you are drafting your terms and conditions in plain English. Your terms and conditions should be able to be understood by everyone. In doing so, however, terms and conditions should not be too simplistic. This is because overly simple terms and conditions may not cover what you want them to. 

Seek Legal Advice

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure that you are drafting your business’ terms and conditions properly is to get legal advice from an experienced business lawyer.

A lawyer will be able to tell you exactly what you need to include in your product’s terms and conditions. They will also let you know if there are other ways that you can protect your business. Additionally, they may also be able to share any relevant terms and conditions templates with you.

What Do Terms and Conditions Typically Include?

There are many things that you can include in your terms and conditions. However, to ensure you are protected if a dispute arises, there are certain clauses you should always include:

  • definition of the goods and services;
  • disclaimer clause;
  • exclusion clause;
  • refund policy; and
  • what you are responsible for.

It is important that you structure your terms and conditions, with the most important clauses first. You should also make sure that you keep your terms and conditions up to date in case any information changes.

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Key Takeaways

When you are selling products to consumers, you should ensure that your products are sold on a defined set of terms and conditions. By doing so, you can mitigate any problems and disputes that may arise. Terms and conditions typically include exclusion clauses and disclaimer statements to protect businesses. The best way to ensure that your business’ terms and conditions are enforceable and protect your interests is to find an experienced lawyer. They will assess your terms and conditions to make sure they are watertight and meet your business objectives.

For legal assistance with managing your contracts, contact LegalVision’s contract lawyers on 0800 005 570 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone draft terms and conditions?

Yes, anyone can draft terms and conditions. However, their enforceability will depend on how well they have been drafted. This is why it is always best to get a lawyer to look over your terms and conditions before you use them.

Do my business’ terms and conditions have to be in plain language?

No, it is not a requirement that your business’s terms and conditions are in plain language. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to keep everything as uncomplicated as possible. This is so that your consumers can easily understand what they are agreeing to.

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