Let’s have a look at some facts first.
- There were an estimated 4.9 million businesses in the UK which employed 24.3 million people, and had a combined turnover of £3,300 billion.
- SMEs employed 14.4 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,600 billion
- Of all businesses, 62.6% (3.7 million) were sole proprietorships, 28.5% (1.4 million) were companies and 8.9% (434,000) partnerships
Figures from 2013, Source: Federation of Small Businesses
Check-A-Contract initiated a survey in July 2014 to find over 78% of ALL businesses are selling ILLEGALLY.
What does that mean?
In basic terms – if your terms are not in line with the law, they are unenforceable. It is as simple as that. ANY purchase, contract or agreement which is not in line with the new laws cannot be enforced. (The laws came into force 13th June 2014)
The law changed in June 2014 and consequent changes to terms & conditions of thousands of companies have not been applied or changed.
Note: It doesn’t matter if you sell a product (whatever it is), a service (whatever it might be) or you are a selling a combination of product/service in the UK (or into the UK). Whatever you do, this new law affects you.
PayPal and any other payment service provider has to comply with the new laws and WILL refund customers IF your terms & conditions are not up-to-date or not in-line with new legislations.
The days of copying somebody else’s terms are long gone. Apart from being penalised by Google for copyright infringement (and most likely demoted in their search engine) – your terms have to be specific to your business/website/sale/commission, etc. Furthermore, the terms have to be in-line with new laws to ensure that you get paid, PayPal & Co are happy as well as your customers are protected.
Whilst you might think applying a ‘self-fix’ is the cheapest option, you will most likely find that your bank, credit card service provider, PayPal & Co. will refund any customer who applies. This is only the start – you worked hard to get credit lines, a reputation with PayPal & Co. – all at risk over some wrong or even non-existing phrases. Not only will there be refunds – they will stop the service until you have everything ‘in order’. Can you afford being without your bank or PayPal & Co. for a couple of weeks?
Now what? Part II
Spending 2 or more hours on the Internet in the hope to find ‘the right new terms & conditions’, download, adjust, proofread (hang on – proofread?) and now your are set. Maybe.
Are your new terms enforceable?
ave they been checked by a lawyer? Will those terms meet the standards of PayPal, your credit card service provider – ultimately, will they be accepted by your accountant, your invoicing or factoring company – the law?
by Check-A-Contract LLP
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