There can be significant risks when working as a tradesperson. There is the risk of not being paid on time, the risk of not being able to provide a service on time, safety risks, and a range of legal risks. What can you do? First of all, you should have a good set of terms and conditions.
Once you have a template document which outlines your terms and conditions, you can provide this to each customer before you provide any services. If they don’t agree to the terms and conditions, you don’t provide any services.
A well-drafted set of terms and conditions will help mitigate some of the mentioned risks. Some important clauses to include in your terms and conditions are set out below.
Your business terms and conditions should set out your invoicing and payment terms. The payment clause needs to cover how payment is made, when payment needs to be made and what happens if payment is not made. If the details of your payment arrangement can be negotiated through a quote, it is important that your terms and conditions work in conjunction with your other business documents to ensure you get paid for your work.
To help avoid disputes between you and your customers, your terms and conditions should indicate the circumstances under which you will not be responsible for delays in services. For example, this may include bad weather conditions or where delivery of the necessary materials to perform the services has been delayed. As these situations are beyond your reasonable control, you do not have to take responsibility for such delays and any losses which may be incurred by your customers as a result of the delay.
There may be times where it is unsafe for you to provide your services. In such instances, your terms and conditions should state that you have the right to suspend your services and provide them at a later stage.
It should be clear in your terms and conditions that where your customers have requested services, and where a time, date and place has been agreed, it is the responsibility of your customers to grant you access to the work site, and in the event that you cannot access the work site, any delays or failure to provide the services will not be your responsibility.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, if there is a defect in your services, you are required to provide a repair or refund. However, where you have performed your services with due care and skill, and have not been negligent in your actions, it is important to limit your liability for any damage that your customers suffer. This will help prevent you from being liable for things which are the fault of the customer or another third party.
As there are many risks involved in operating as a tradesperson, it is important to have a good strong set of terms and conditions to help reduce the possibility of disputes and help mitigate your risk. If you are unsure of what needs to go into your terms and conditions, contact LegalVision today. We can provide you with a fixed-fee quote for drafting a set of terms and conditions tailored to your business, and we’ll future-proof it so you can use the same set of terms and conditions for a very long time!