Who drafted your suppliers terms and conditions? And for whom? If your supplier drafted the Ts & Cs without a lawyer, although legally binding, the document could possibly be drafted by someone who isn’t legally qualified to do so. If that is the case, your supplier will have created a document in their favour and not to your advantage. It’s only natural that someone will draft a document thinking about their business interests and not considering the pros and cons of the other party. However, if a business lawyer drafts the document, they will anticipate the pros and cons of both parties because of their experience in the field.
You need a business lawyer to check through the terms and conditions handed to you by a supplier and tweek or redrafted it, so that both you and the supplier benefit from the clauses or rules laid out. For instance, if the drafted document says that you need to give 90 days notice before terminating the contract, then you need to think carefully if that works in your favour. Depending on the type of services you are supplied with, a business lawyer would likely advise you to change 90 day to 30 days or less.
Another example and quite likely one of the most common problems companies and suppliers encounter is the payment terms clause. If your supplier wants payments to be made within 7 days of issuing an invoice at the beginning of the month, you could be faced with penalties if your company payments run at the end of the month. You need and can change the payment clause. A lawyer would perhaps suggest that you change the payment clause to fit in with your accountant or bookkeeping department.
Your supplier would be foolish not to agree with a change in the payment clause. After all, who would rather loose a client than accept a little tweek in the payment terms? And if you think about it, it’s really no big deal. Often companies are happy to accommodate payment date to suit their customers’ bookkeeping needs. All customers need to do is let a company know in writing that their preferred payment date is xx. In the same way, all you need to do is let your suppliers know in writing by way of a clause, that your bill payments will be made during your business payment run.
If you would like us to have a look at your suppliers’ Ts & Cs, please give us a call to discuss. We will give you an initial no commitment complimentary consultancy call. SG
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