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The Importance of Customised Terms of Trade for Christchurch Businesses

4 June 2024 | Isabel Sullivan
Terms and conditions

“Terms of Trade,” “Terms and Conditions,” “Terms of Engagement,” or simply “the fine print”—whatever you call them, having written terms is crucial for your business. These documents outline what you and your customers have agreed to, ensuring clarity and legal protection.

Why Customised Terms of Trade Matter

Without properly drafted Terms of Trade, or by using generic templates, you expose your business to unnecessary risks. Customised Terms of Trade safeguard your interests and foster smooth relationships with customers, providing robust legal avenues if issues arise.

Whether you already have Terms of Trade or are considering developing them, here are key points to consider:

No 'One Size Fits All' Solution

Some Christchurch business owners mistakenly believe that copying another business’s Terms of Trade or using an online template suffices. This approach is flawed. Every business is unique, with specific operational practices, industry requirements, and customer needs. Your Terms of Trade should accurately reflect how your Christchurch business operates to ensure they are effective and enforceable.

Compliance with Legal Requirements

Your Terms of Trade must comply with relevant legislation governing your industry. Regularly reviewing and updating your terms is essential to ensure they meet current legal standards. This is crucial not only for compliance but also to protect your business from potential legal challenges.

Securing Customer Agreement

Having well-crafted Terms of Trade is not enough; you must ensure your customers agree to them. Simply displaying them on your website isn’t sufficient. Customers need to explicitly agree to your terms to be legally bound by them.

There are several ways to secure agreement:

  • Send your Terms of Trade to customers at the beginning of your relationship and request email confirmation.
  • Attach your Terms of Trade to quotes and state that accepting the quote means accepting the terms.
  • Require customers to sign the Terms of Trade along with any necessary credit application forms.
  • Establishing a routine of securing agreement before commencing any business ensures that you can enforce your rights and collect outstanding debts if disputes arise.

Protecting your Christchurch business

Does your business have customised Terms of Trade? When were they last reviewed by a legal professional? For more information on protecting yourself and your business, contact the team at Godfreys Law on (03) 6617166. Customised, regularly reviewed Terms of Trade are essential for mitigating risks and ensuring your business operates smoothly and legally.

Real people. Real solutions. Real terms and conditions.

Issy JPG

Article by:

Isabel Sullivan

Law Clerk

Isabel joined Godfreys Law in October 2021, when finishing her third year of Law at the University of Canterbury.

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