Are you starting your own panel beater business? Are you looking to expand your already existing panel beater business? If so, you will need to carefully consider what terms and conditions you include in your contracts. As a panel beater, you are dealing with a vast variety of people in a range of different situations, and as a result, you should create terms and conditions which reflect this fact. This means that you should put a significant amount of time and effort into ensuring that your business is not at risk in any situation, and that your customers are aware of where they stand at all times, in all eventualities.

Vehicle Assessment

Before any work is done on a vehicle, you must first assess its condition. Therefore, there should be a clear section in your terms and conditions dedicated to the protocol that you will use in assessing the condition of a vehicle and creating a quote for the repairs required. This will ensure that, from the outset, your customer has confidence in the quote you give, and will lead to a healthy relationship between you and your customer from the beginning.

Regular Duties

After the assessment, you will then have to engage in the regular duties of a panel beater. This generally includes welding, planishing and filling, detaching panels, doing paint jobs and additional mechanical repairs. All of this is time consuming and often requires the purchase of other parts. All of these factors should be accounted for in your terms and conditions. Therefore, whether you have a fixed fee or work by the hour, and if there is any potential for the price to change, your customer should be made aware of this in your terms and conditions.

Intricate Restorations

Sometimes the panels of the cars you deal with are in such a bad state that they are beyond repair. In this case you will be required to obtain replacement body parts for the cars. The price of these parts will depend on your supplier and will probably vary from job to job. As a result, it is vital that you include this potential for price variation in your terms and conditions.

In addition, you may be required to rebuild an entire car engine and perform electrical work in one form or another. This will mean that you will have to exempt yourself from any liability in the event of a mishap. This is a vital aspect of the terms and conditions of your contracts, as they are there first and foremost to protect you. Therefore, a thorough set of terms and conditions will ensure that your business is not responsible if the engine rebuild or the electrical work creates an unforseen problem.

Administrative Duties

It is also important that your terms and conditions include reference to your administrative duties. Every panel beater should keep a record of their daily activities, which includes hours worked, parts bought, daily tasks and follow-ups required. Therefore, by including this in your terms and conditions, it creates a sense of trust and confidence among your customers, for they know that you are contractually obliged to maintain good records. In addition, in the event of non-payment by a customer, these records will come in handy in court. Including record keeping in your contracts is an added incentive to protect your business financially.

Conclusion

Are you starting your own panel beater business? Are you looking to expand your already existing panel beater business? If so, you should carefully consider the terms and conditions you put into each and every one of your contracts. These terms and conditions should reflect the┬ámanner in which you do business, and assist – not restrict – your business, by focusing on your business practices. However, creating terms and conditions for your business can be a difficult and time consuming task for anyone without prior legal experience. Therefore, LegalVision has created a comprehensive guide to writing terms and conditions in order to assist, which can be found here.

If, however, you feel you still need assistance, please feel free to call LegalVision for a fixed-fee quote.

Lachlan McKnight

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