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Each time you provide any sort of service to a client, there’s a risk that the relationship might go awry. Expectations can be misinterpreted, communication might suffer, or (whisper it) your client might just be looking for ways to avoid paying.

Protect yourself and your business by using terms and conditions agreements with each client at the start of every project.

What are terms and conditions agreements?

Also known as the terms of service (ToS), the terms of use, or a plain old client contract, this is the document that each client should have to agree to before getting started.

They’re can be used by businesses which provide a service or applied to sales, or are included on websites and software. For instance, the several-billion pages long terms of service that you definitely read before ticking accept, in order to use an online music streaming service.

How do Ts and Cs reduce risk for a business?

Businesses and consumers are generally protected by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It includes clear rules for what should happen if goods are faulty or if a service is not provided as agreed.

But, using Terms and Conditions or some other form of agreement helps make everything clear from the outset.

For a business agreement, the Ts and Cs are there to ensure that the client knows exactly what they’re getting, when, how, and to what extent.

It also helps to manage expectations so that should you go above and beyond, it’s entirely at your own discretion rather than because the client insists it was part of the deal.

Preparing a client agreement

There are lots of example contracts and agreement templates online, including the Crown Commercial Service’s short form contract.

It’s essential to remember that templates are not tailored to your business, so may need further development by you or a legal expert to get them to where they need to be. Some might not be appropriate for use in your particular industry, such as construction contracts which use industry standard forms.

Find more business help in our resources hub!

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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