Including terms and conditions in contracts

Including terms and conditions in contracts doesn’t have to be hard, but it’s useful to structure the contract terms and conditions in contractsappropriately in the first instance, to avoid any disputes later.

For instance, whereas the main document of a contract is usually very fixed in its wording, and in what both parties have agreed to, it may be preferable to leave scope to change the terms and conditions of the agreement over time.

You may want to do this by providing the terms and conditions as a separate document, which can be replaced or amended through mutual agreement – particularly if the contract you are signing is likely to remain in place over the course of many years.

In this way, you are able to include terms and conditions in contracts without them becoming set in stone – so they are clearly part of the arrangement, yet are still able to be altered.

Including terms and conditions in contracts also gives you scope to overrule certain aspects of the contract itself, by specifying that any revisions to the Ts & Cs will take precedence over the original wording of the main contract document.

This is not just the case in supply agreements or payment terms documents, but also in other types of contract; for instance, an employment contract may refer to external particulars of employment, which in turn can be updated to overrule the contract itself on issues like pay, bonuses and holiday entitlement.

Your Ts & Cs are your place to set out the elements of your agreement that are most likely to change in the future, and that can range from the time allowed for payment, to the actions you will take if payment is not made on time.

It’s worth appreciating the benefit of having this kind of flexibility, as it means mutually agreed aspects of the contract can be updated, without the original contract coming to an end.

Compared with the alternatives – such as drawing up an entirely new contract that must be signed – this can be advantageous in terms of keeping a customer in their existing contract when altering its terms.

Often, an updated Ts & Cs document will not feel like a major change for the customer, whereas being asked to sign into a new contract on different terms could be enough to have them looking for a better deal elsewhere.

For more information visit our Terms & Conditions page here

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