Draft List For SME Terms Of Service

For those involvedWhat should be included in your terms of service at the start of your business?

Your terms of service should be at the top of your priority list – they are a draft of the bones of your business because they impact on your cash flow and profitability.  For instance, it is common place for companies to put invoices from SMEs to a side, assuming that they won’t impact at all on the company’s cash flow or the director’s daily needs, if invoices are paid as and when it suits the client.  If you are not affected by the timing of invoice payments, then you can be flexible in your terms of service and offer 30, 60 or 90 days from the invoice date until payment is made.  But if this impacts on your daily expenditure, then 7 to 14 days, plus penalties for late payment would be something to consider, when you discuss with your solicitor what to include in your terms of service.  Remember also that the minimum legal requirement for invoice content is yours or your business name and address; but you should also include in your invoices the date by which they should be paid, because if you don’t, your clients are by law allowed to pay your services as and when it suits them.

Your terms of service should address all aspects of the business in relation to your client right on the outset of the relationship.  Everything that involves your client should be in this document that will be used in the court of law should any issues arise.  Also, this is the document that you produce when in dispute with your client and even just as a reminder of your business terms for you and for your client.  Remember though, each client might need amendments made to the terms of service.

Buds in HandsOf course, what goes on the terms of service depends on your business, its size, what kind of relationship you want to have with your clients and what you want to protect.  For instance, a pet care company might want to add to the terms of service a clause that sets out what will happen should the client’s dog bite someone or cause damage to property.  An office ad-hoc administrator might want to include in the terms of service any fees chargeable in the event of last minute cancellation of services.  It’s up to you and your solicitor to discuss what goes on your business terms of service and it is entirely up to you to make it clear what your business is and what direction you want it to go, as well as what kind of relationship you want to have with your clients.  In any case, your solicitor will help you see every aspect of your business more clearly and will advise you on the best way to protect your business.

You must have a concise definition of services your business provides, when will the relationship start and with whom, what the fees are, what penalties may be incurred and on which events, what the payment terms are, when the relationship will end or if the date isn’t known, how the relationship should end.  All in all, the terms of service protects the business and your definition of services are brief but comprehensive.  So think about the bare bones of your business, right down a list of everything you can think of that might affect your relationship with your clients as well as your cash flow, then present it to your solicitor prior to your first consultation.

If you would like to have a free first consultation with a solicitor, please give us a call and we can set up a time to discuss that first draft of your terms of service. By Sandra Garcao

Make An Enquiry

Call us now on 020 7113 4003 or complete our Online Enquiry and we will be delighted to talk with you about your legal matter.

Free Enquiry

Back to all news

Share Article With:

Make An Enquiry

Client Reviews

Venetia Lawson-Cruttenden [solicitor] is fantastic!  She is always so thorough and efficient and gives you the

DG Law supported us through a very difficult contractual negotiation to achieve exactly the outcome

We were very pleased with the way that DG Law helped us on our transaction

Thanks for all the help from DG Law in pulling together our somewhat complicated loan. 

DG Law resolved a difficult lease renewal for us and their services were excellent –

I needed understanding and experienced legal advice. DG Law provided an excellent service at a

My experience was second to none – the service was professional and personal. DG Law

DG Law always step up to the plate on our transactions and handle the various

DG Law was recommended to me and my partner and I received excellent advice –

Having worked with DG Law a number/couple of times now, I have been really impressed

DG Law were constantly at hand, and kept pro-active throughout the thorny process of getting

DG Law organised and ran a very useful session to help to make our team’s

DG Law came recommended to me and whilst setting up a new business it was

We were recommended three lawyers to handle the sale of our seven year old successful

Why Choose Us?

We live by our core values of transparency, flexibility and being honourable – every day

We put ourselves in your shoes so we understand your problems from the inside out

We deliver our advice in a way that is easy to understand