01 November 2021

Term of business explained: when do they need updating?


in the third of our terms of business explained series we consider when you need to update your ToBs...

As we mentioned in article one of this terms of business series, just over a year ago, we wrote an article about terms of business. We set out in the article to explain why terms of business were becoming a point of difference for some businesses – legally designed terms of business anyway.

This series, explaining terms of business in more depth, follows up that original blog with more information. In the first article, we looked at 7 things to include in your terms of business (why not download our free guide?), in our second we considered the different types of ToB and in this third one, we look at when you need to update your ToBs…

should I update my terms every time I get asked to change them by a customer/client?

As buyers of services, we are regularly sent Ts&Cs and accept them without question. Depending on the nature of your business, you might find your customers are the same. However, often, particularly where sales are high value, your terms will be under the spotlight and changes might be suggested and accepted.

We often see terms of business go through the wash over and over. Changes are picked up for the next customer, then more changes are made and the next customer gets the changed version, and so on…there is a real risk when you do this. Changes are likely to be made based on the particular circumstances of the deal. Your reasons for accepting the change will have been dependent on your situation at the time too.

We would recommend that you don’t keep changing your terms based on requests you get – what you end up with is likely to do both yourself and your customer a disservice.

TOP TIP: save a ‘template’ version somewhere and always start from this version whenever onboarding a new client! (or you could get us to help?)

what about COVID, should I be updating my terms and conditions to reflect future risk?

Most terms and conditions were drafted pre-Covid. Over 2020 Covid-clauses started to appear and these are now making their way into the courts. These cases will shape the nature of future Covid-clauses. Added to Covid is the impact of Brexit, which for some industries is causing shortages which are in turn having an impact on the sales businesses are making.

It is recommended that your terms and conditions think about how Covid (or a similar future pandemic) might impact your business. Pre-Covid these were probably covered by Acts of God clauses. Now, given they are more foreseeable – and indeed in the case of Covid ongoing – you might well want to include a Covid clause.

What happens if you can’t deliver a good or render a service because of Covid? That question is one that could be answered in your terms.

terms of business – legally designed.

Hopefully, that was plenty of food for thought! We will also be considering why we feel that legal design can have a hugely beneficial impact on your terms of business in our final article of this series.

If you’d like to see how we can help you with your terms of business then please get in touch for a free consultation at onwards@lawboxlegal.com.

Interested in how we can help your business?
Give us a ring, we would love to hear from you.
Get in touch