So you have decided to start a new business? You have a novel idea or a better way of doing things? What’s next?
Our business advisory director, Nadia Sabaini, has developed a valuable 10-part guide for budding entrepreneurs looking to turn their idea into a reality.
In this guide, Nadia has identified the top 10 actions to consider before embarking on a new business journey. These considerations are invaluable knowledge for start-ups and can help maneuver your business down the right path with the appropriate awareness for the business environment in which you intend to operate.
#9: Have your lawyer prepare your terms and conditions
The temptation to buy a set of terms and conditions online is strong, as legal drafting can be expensive. However, many T&Cs available online are simply not worth the paper they are written on.
Many online T&Cs come from foreign site and are not made for Australian law. Additionally, these documents almost never marry up with the way the subject business operates, which means that they won’t be any help when you need them most. Here are 4 simple ways to tell if your T&Cs need review:
There is no definition section
- This is an indication that your T&Cs are poorly drafted. Generally, comprehensive T&Cs will have a definition section, either at the start or the end. We recommend you have your terms reviewed by a lawyer.
You can see the word ‘Article’ in reference to legislation or foreign legislation is cited
- If you Google legislation cited in your T&Cs and find that is its foreign legistlation (usually USA), this means the T&Cs were taken from a foreign site and are not suitable for Australia. This is a serious issue plaguing Australian businesses who buy low cost documents online. You need new terms immediately because they could be unenforceable.
You can see references to the ‘Trade Practices Act’
- This is the old version of the Australian consumer law which was replaced by the Consumer and Competition Act 2010 (Cth). It means your terms are outdated and need an urgent update as a lot has changed since 2010.
- This is recent legislation that revolutionised the way we deal with retention of title in unpaid goods and taking security over personal property including against debtors. If your T&Cs do not address this legislation, chances are that they are outdated. You need to update them in order to take advantage of this new law and implement any other updates required.
Be careful of using a competitors’ T&Cs as they could be just as ineffective, and the last thing you want as a start up is to defend a law suit for intellectual property infringement. We strongly recommend that you invest the money required to have a good tailored set of T&Cs prepared for you by a business lawyer, it will be the best money you’ve ever spent.
For more information regarding your start-up journey, download the full guide below or contact us today.
Read from the beginning: #1: How to Make a Real Business Plan for Your Start Up
Individual liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation (personal injury work exempted).