Seeking the help of an expert is highly advisable when drafting personalised terms and conditions agreement for your business. This will not only ensure that the agreement will have a legal and binding effect but also guarantee that your terms and conditions agreement covers everything that is required and avoid any stipulations that may introduce legal issues.
In this piece, we shared this guideline which you can consider when writing your initial terms and conditions agreement draft for your line of business.
Avoid Using Legal Jargon
Do not overcomplicate your terms and conditions. Keep it simple, friendly, and easy to read and understand by everyone. Avoid using legal terms or jargon just to sound professional. Keep in mind that in drafting your terms and conditions, you are also preparing material for marketing purposes.
Remember the golden rule: the simpler the better. Simplicity in the terms and conditions allows customers to have peace of mind and confidence in the services you offer. Using highfalutin terms will not attract customers but can potentially mean fewer customers. Keep it short and direct to the point as you do not want to bore your customers with heavy reading materials.
For as long as your terms and conditions agreement provides and explains accurately the rights and obligations of both parties, the high are the chances of securing the sale. So in writing your initial draft, be sure to adopt a more personal and friendly approach to make your customers at ease and less wary in reading through your personalised terms and conditions material.
Explain Complicated Terms
If you cannot avoid using legal and complex words in your terms and conditions agreement, make sure to include a “Definitions” portion at the end of the material. Your top priority is to establish a good relationship with your customer. Adding this section will show them that you are operating an honest and transparent business, with no hidden agenda but to deliver a reliable service.
Explain What’s Included in the Price
Be transparent with your transactions. Make sure that your customers understand what’s included in the marked price they negotiated for. If there are additional items that your customer believes to be part of the cost they have paid, address the issue right on and elaborately explain what only goes in the package they ordered.
If there are cases where the price varies for other product/service options, communicate the matter properly to your customer so they have all the information they need in deciding what’s best for them. This will also give them the impression that you are transparent in conducting your business which is a good factor they can consider for their future purchases.
Skip the Vague Statements
Honesty is the best policy. Customer confidence plays a big impact when it comes to repeat and referral sales; hence, in boosting your business’ success. Double-check your terms and conditions and ensure that it does not include any vague or misleading statements.
It is important that the words used in the agreement must be given their ordinary meaning when read by your customers. Remember that your customers are not the only party to the said agreement, you too are also bound to the stipulations provided, and writing deceptive and/ or false statements in it may be used against you as grounds in violation of the Australian Consumer Law.
Payment terms refer to the modes of how you allow your customers to pay for the goods and services, including the details for when you expect to receive such payments. This is one of the most important elements of your terms and conditions. In this portion, explain to your customers how you want to get paid, as well as any fees, charges and/ or interests they may incur in case they fail to comply with the said payment terms.
It is also ideal to include a stipulation whereby your customer is undertaking the risk of being liable to recovery and other legal costs in case you need to hire a debt collector in recovering any outstanding balance due to you.
Refund And Return Policy
The Australian Consumer Law requires every business owner to specifically state their refund and returns policy. Hence, do not forget to include this portion, including the exchanges, warranties, refunds and time limits that are applicable for these matters, as the case may be.
Personal Information Privacy
This stipulation is a must. Privacy is a big concern for most people nowadays and this is for a good reason. Include a Personal Information Privacy clause in your terms and conditions and explain how the information of your customers will be handled.
Limitation of Liability Clause
A limitation of liability clause is the section in an agreement which defines the damages that one party may be obligated to pay to the other party based on the terms and conditions provided in the instrument. Add this portion to protect your interests. Ask for legal assistance in drafting this portion to ensure that everything is covered in the clause.
Terms and conditions are mainly executed to protect your business from any sort of unlawful actions of abusive customers. Hence, it can leave your business vulnerable and susceptible to abusive users if not crafted properly. Click here for more great tips on writing Terms & Conditions for your business.
If you own a business and you want to make sure that you’ll have strong terms and conditions that protect all your legal rights, consider hiring or speaking with a professional so they can help you in writing your personalised terms and conditions.
About the Author
Richard Scott is a passionate freelance finance writer at JMA Credit Control. He’s also a business coach who spends his time helping small businesses to prevent and eliminate bad debts and safeguard critical cashflow, minimise any risks, and implement positive collection processes.