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The Terms & Conditions For Your Business Need To Have At Least These In Place…

Establishing your business’ terms and conditions may seem like an onerous task among the never-ending to-do lists, but getting it right is essential for healthy cash flow.

The terms and conditions form the basis for the trading relationship on which a business sells goods and services to customers and from which they buy goods and services from suppliers. Specific terms and conditions can be the difference between chasing up late payments, to ensuring that your business is paid first.

Well-drafted terms and conditions will protect a business and provide clarity as to what should happen in any given situation. Terms and conditions can also prevent disputes and save time and money on collecting debts.

While there is no legal requirement to include terms and conditions on invoices, it is highly recommended to establish written terms and conditions in case things go wrong with one party. The terms and conditions you decide to incorporate will vary depending on your business’ needs but generally should include the following:

Goods and services

A clear definition of the goods and/or services that will be provided. Including a section for definitions of the words used throughout your terms and conditions will prevent any misunderstandings or misinterpretation.

Price and Payment Terms

The price should be defined and must state whether GST (or other taxes) are included or not. The payment terms should outline when the payment is due and if the price is payable in cash on delivery or on pre-agreed terms.

Warranties Or Guarantees

Include any warranty that will be provided. The warranty period and limitations under the warranty need to be clearly explained. If you offer any guarantees, be sure to include them and remember guarantees should be provided before any goods and services are provided.

Delivery

A timeline for the delivery of goods should be detailed. Ensure to include the method of delivery and any associated costs for delivery.

Credit

If credit is provided, make sure to include the credit terms, credit limit and any penalty or default terms. It is important to request permission to conduct a reference check to check the creditworthiness of the other party before providing credit. Remember offering credit increases your chances of receiving a late payment, or not being paid at all, so consider upfront payment or payment on delivery for customers with large payments.

Risk

Specify what will happen if either party does not deliver or pay on time. The terms should also state what notice is required to get out of an agreement or if one party wants to end the relationship.

Retention of Title Clause

A retention of title (ROT) clause means that the seller can retain the ownership of goods already supplied until they have been paid for by the other party. Suppliers must ensure to register their interest in accordance with the Personal Property Security Act to remain enforceable.

 

If you’re someone who often finds it difficult to make large lump sum payments for goods or services, you may want to consider looking into “Buy Now Pay Later” services.

Buy now pay later essentially means that, rather than paying in a full lump sum payment for a product or services rendered, there may be an option to pay through instalments of a certain amount over a set period to make the sum of the full amount in total. This method should allow you to pay in full for the product or service without overly straining your finances – you pay back what you can, as agreed upon when you begin the buy now pay later service.

Some popular buy now pay later services include Afterpay, Zip Pay, Brightepay, and some credit card networks such as  Mastercard and Visa, can offer buy now pay later arrangements.

Though it can be a convenient, immediate solution, it may be challenging to juggle the necessary repayments with other financial commitments. It’s not always the most appropriate method for people, and you should bear in mind your situation and ability in paying back the amounts. 

Before you sign up, keep in mind: 

  • It becomes easier to overspend with buy now pay later services, so know your limits on what you can and can’t afford.
  • You will be charged fees and costs to use the service, which can add up to a princely sum in and of itself.
  • Keeping track of your payments can be tricky if you’ve signed up for multiple services.
  • It could affect your loan applications for a car or mortgage as lenders consider buy now pay later spending just as much as your credit score.
  • Late repayments can appear on your credit report, which affects your ability to borrow money in the future.
  • Layby can be a cheaper alternative to buy now pay later, with no account-keeping or late fees to consider

If you are someone who could make use of BNPL services, you may wish to:

  • Ensure that when using the BNPL service, you stick to a set limit on what you spend so that you can comfortably pay it back later. 
  • Aim only to have one BNPL account at a time to manage payments through, rather than confuse yourself with multiple payments across different providers.
  • Always budget for bills, loan payments and BNPL payments, and 
  • Rather than use your credit card for payments to your BNPL account, consider linking to your debit account instead.

If you would like assistance in planning your financial future, help in managing your budget or some friendly advice, see us for a chat about what we can do for you.

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Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

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I have used Jane & the team for the last 6 years for all of my business & personal accounting needs. They have always been professional, easy to talk to & available when we have needed assistance.

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John Briggs

Jane Noller has been my accountant for the last 15 plus years. I can testify to Jane’s professionalism and expeditious manner in dealing with the day to day issues that surrounds our business accounting.

John Briggs

Registered Building Certifier