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How To Write Terms and Conditions For Your Business In 7 Easy Steps

 

Having good Ts & Cs for your biz is super important and can save business owners a lot of mula in the long run. You need to cover your butt so people you do business with can’t go back on their word.

Kiwis love DIY so here are 7 steps to writing terms and conditions for your business:

Step 1: Read the Ts & Cs of similar businesses

See what’s already out there and use it for inspiration. Don’t copy what other businesses have written as this will probably be a breach of copyright. I repeat, do not copy! You also need to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. But looking at what’s been done before will give you an idea of how Ts & Cs can be written for your kind of biz. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, other names for Ts & Cs are Terms of Trade, Terms of Supply and Terms of Service so type those into Google and give them a whirl.

Step 2: Write a list of everything your biz does

Jot down a list of everything your business does and all the services it provides. Also write down any standard terms you offer your customers at the moment.

Step 3: Think about what could go wrong

It’s a bit freaky to think about but next to the list of things your biz does write down all the potential things that could go wrong. Imagine you are dealing with your “worst nightmare” customer when you do this bit.

Step 4: Write your Ts & Cs

It’s now time to get cracking on those Ts & Cs. Here are some things to include:

  • Define the goods and services you sell so people know what’s included and what’s not
  • Define any other words your customers might not know the meaning of
  • Payment terms, including payment dates and what will happen if your customers pay you late, like charging interest
  • What you are responsible for, and what you’re not
  • Any refund policy
  • Any guarantees you offer
  • Delivery timelines
  • Limitation of liability clause (best to get some legal help with this one)
  • A reference to your website’s privacy policy
  • How you deal with complaints and what happens if a proper dispute rears its ugly head (for example, you could make it clear that negotiation or mediation is your first port of call so you aren’t taken to court straight off the bat).
  • A disclaimer about the accuracy of information on your website
  • Make is crystal clear that by accessing and using your website your customers agree to your Ts & Cs
  • You can change your Ts & Cs at any time
  • How long the contract lasts and any minimum term
  • How you and your customers can cancel the contract and how much notice is required
  • Who owns the intellectual property in the things you create for your customers
  • The law that governs the contract (like NZ law)

Step 5: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and review

Review your Ts & Cs (aka your literary masterpiece) and make sure they’re written in plain English and are free from complicated and boring legal words. Also, make your Ts & Cs as easy on the eye as possible. This means the size of the font should be big enough for your customers to read easily, and you should include good headings.

Step 6: Ask a buddy to read your Ts & Cs

Get a pal who is always honest with you to read your Ts & Cs. If they point out areas they just don’t get, you need to make some improvements.

Step 7: Get a lawyer to do a final once over

It’s always a good idea to get your lawyer to give your Ts & Cs a final once over. Your lawyer has seen many things go wrong with their clients in business and will know the areas where you could find yourself in hot water. If you’re not that keen to have your lawyer involved, at least get them to write a limitation of liability clause for you – this could save you bucket loads of $$$ later on.

You’re nearly done!

Now slap those Ts & Cs on your website and have a link to them at the bottom of every page of your site. While it can be a pain, it’s best to wait until your customers agree to your Ts & Cs in writing before you start doing business with them.

Don’t forget to review your Ts & Cs every now and then – it is amazing how quickly they become out of date as your biz grows.

Create Terms and Conditions for your website online now

Disclaimer: The information on this page is general information only and must not be relied on as legal advice. Legal Beagle is not a law firm or a substitute for a law firm. We are unable to provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defences, options, selection of legal documents or strategies. 

 

 

 

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Legal Beagle is not a law firm or a substitute for a law firm. We are unable to provide any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defences, options, selection of legal documents or strategies.
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