Are you starting a new painting business? Do you need to adapt your contracts to suit the needs of your growing painting business? If so, you will need to put a lot of thought into the terms and conditions you include in each and every one of your contracts. Terms and conditions are extremely important in contracts because they protect you and your business from any change of heart by your client, any mistake on your part, or unforeseen changes in circumstances. The problem with terms and conditions in contracts is that many seem either obvious or self-explanatory. However, if you forget to include them, or if they are ambiguous, you could be inadvertently exposing your business to very costly legal action as a result of any type of mishap or confusion on the part of your client.

Why are terms and conditions important?

While your contract might simply be to paint a house, every job is different, and it is important that your contract allows you to work in the way that works best for you. For example, you may want to leave material on the premises. You may want access to the premises after working hours. You may want to keep unused paint. You will also want to protect yourself from any liability as a result of an accident or mishap beyond your control. The only way to ensure that you are able to do all of this, and successfully complete a job without unnecessary delays or frustration, is to ensure that all of these issues are addressed in the terms and conditions of your contract. This means that it is paramount that every painter spends a significant amount of time considering what works best for you, and how to word the terms and conditions of your contract so that you know exactly where you stand at all times.

What should I include in the terms and conditions?

Terms and conditions in a contract should aim to cover all eventualities. This will provide maximum protection for your business, and remove any potential for confusion between your expectations and the expectations of your clients. Some important considerations that should feature in the terms and conditions of most painting services businesses include, but are not limited to:

  1. Paint products used.
  2. Warranties/Guarantees.
  3. Safety.
  4. Work on new homes (if applicable).
  5. Timeframes.
  6. Bad Weather/Natural Disasters.
  7. Access to the property.
  8. Additional work.
  9. Leaving equipment on the premises.[1]

Can I write my own terms and conditions?

While it is possible for you to write up your own terms and conditions, unless you have prior legal experience, it can prove to be a difficult and time-consuming exercise. Terms and conditions are subject to the law of contracts, which means that in order to be enforceable, they must conform to the rigorous standard of the law. LegalVision’s definitive guide to writing terms and conditions for your business can be found here.

A common problem for painters when creating a contract for services is that their wants and needs are often markedly different to those of other painters. This means it is almost impossible to create a ‘one size fits all’ version of terms and conditions for painters. It is advisable that when you are creating a set of terms and conditions, you do so with a contract lawyer who can assist you in creating a contract that is tailored to your unique circumstances, and covers all aspects of your work that are important to you.

In addition, if a lawyer assists you in drafting the terms and conditions of your contract, you will be confident in the fact that you have a legal professional who understands your contract intimately, and can assist you if the terms and conditions have been breached by one of your clients. This will allow you to carry out your work with confidence, and to the best of your ability, safe in the knowledge that what you have agreed to is enforceable in a court of law.

Conclusion

Have you recently started a painting business? Are you unsure of what terms and conditions you should include in your contracts? The nature of the work of a painter is that every job is different, and every job has its difficulties and its pleasures. If you feel that you need more assistance, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755 for a fixed-fee quote.

Lachlan McKnight

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