The online business sector is an ever expanding and important marketplace for businesses, offering ease and accessibility to millions of potential customers throughout the UK and the world.

However, before commencing any online business, a prudent business should ensure that it has carefully drafted terms and conditions to regulate the basis on which it sells to its customers. This is especially true if you are dealing with consumers as they benefit from a range of additional protections which don’t apply to business customers. It is therefore always important to be aware of the legal rights which your customers are entitled to. Every business relies on the value of its relationships and contracts with customers, but what happens if something goes wrong? If you don’t have robust terms and conditions drafted to protect your business’ position, then the consequences can be severe.

As well as improving your position legally, having written terms and conditions clearly setting out the terms on which you conduct business helps with certainty over what has been agreed. This is beneficial for you and your customer. You know what you have agreed to do and the customer knows what to expect from you. It also helps to minimise the chance of any disputes arising in the future because well drafted terms and conditions will often be clear about what you are and aren’t responsible for.

As an online business, it is crucial that you have appropriate terms and conditions on your website from the outset. BHW Solicitors can help guide you and will ensure that your terms and conditions are compliant with the latest legislation and suitable for the nature of your business.

In particular, when you are dealing with consumers, your terms and conditions allow you to set out the various rights which consumers benefit from under legislation such as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which can also help with internal administration and return handling, while also dealing with your legal obligation to provide certain information to your customers e.g. identity of trader, contact details, model cancellation form etc.

A set of well-drafted terms and conditions should include provisions relating to payment, delivery, returns, refunds, what liability you have if things go wrong. However, while most of your terms and conditions will consist of the sort of provisions which could apply to most businesses, we would always advise our clients to have bespoke terms and conditions tailored to their business to ensure that they are protected to the fullest extent possible.

BHW Solicitors are highly experienced in drafting terms and conditions for businesses and have drafted terms and conditions for a variety of business sectors. If you would like your current terms and conditions reviewing, or a new bespoke set of terms prepared, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Matt Worsnop or Alex Clifton on 0116 289 7000.

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