How Your Terms and Conditions Can Protect Your Business

Do your terms & conditions protect your business model and profits?

Do your terms & conditions protect your customers while supporting your business model and profits? Your Terms and Conditions (T&C) document is an important legal protection for your business. In Australia, an effective and professional T&C document is a key to growing a potential customer’s confidence.

To ensure you meet your industry’s legal compliance requirements, it is best to ask a lawyer to help you finalise your T&C rather than simply use a generic document.

Optional Information

You can create clarity and trust with your customers by including details about shipping methods and delivery times, payment terms and your cancellation policy. Your lawyer can advise you on any rules that apply to your industry, product or type of buyer, such as:

  • The limitations of liability for potential claims by your customers
  • Including references to your privacy policy and data collection policy
  • Asserting copyright of your website content and the fair use of your ideas (intellectual property)
  • What to say about third-party services you use to manage email marketing, payments, subscriptions or collection of contact data

Clearly defining your liability is extremely important. Any dispute with a client that ends up in court will be very costly. It makes sense to set up clear rules about liability, and to restrict your liability as much as the law allows, before any dispute arises.

Confused terms and conditions (with a lifejacket) - Shutterstock

Additional Considerations

  • Australian Banks will ask to see your terms and conditions before granting you an Internet Merchant Facility (IMF)
  • We strongly recommend that you do not copy the T&C from another site. Your terms and conditions need to reflect your unique business

If you need more advice about terms and conditions for your online business or traditional business you can check out the Australian Consumer Law site. Doing your homework before meeting with your lawyer will save you time and money. Setting your customer’s expectations with your T&C gives your customer confidence to do business with you.

Your Terms and Conditions

Your terms and conditions may need to include the following details:

  • Clauses that help you comply with Australian Consumer Law
  • An explanation of how you will provide a refund, repair or replacement, if necessary
  • Details of any guarantees that you provide

Your lawyer can explain what you must offer your customers by law. And, your lawyer can help you choose how to handle details that are not strictly limited by law. You want to reach a good balance between protecting your company and doing the right thing by your customers.