Business Stationery might seem like a simple thing. Why would a law firm deal in business stationery? Because more times than not the business stationery is relied upon by companies in order to form the basis of contracts and terms of trade.
If you spend the time to get your basic business stationery prepared then you can focus on do what you do best, which is running your business.
Terms of Trade
Terms of Trade are important as they outline and bind the customer to the conditions upon which you are agreeable to doing business. This might be such things as:
- Time for payment of the invoice
- Any personal guarantees to enable you to sue someone personally
- Conditions upon which the work must be completed
- Remedies for failing to complete the work in a satisfactory manner
Terms of Trade are essential in the event that business arrangements have fallen down.
It is extremely common for small businesses to go out to a potential job site, take with them a quote book and handover a quote (or email it to the person). From here normally the customer will either ring and advise they are happy with the quote or they will advise in writing.
It is very important to remember that any agreement to perform work for a customer is considered to be a contract. A contract must have an offer and an acceptance. In most cases, the Quote is considered by Courts to be the Offer in a contract and the verbal authorisation to go ahead with the job is considered to be the acceptance of the Offer.
It is extremely common that the quote is the only documentation involved in the entire deal, and as such it becomes the most important document a business has when dealing with a customer. This means that the quote needs to be drafted in such terms as to protect a business’ interests to cater for any changes that are made to the quote or deal. QLP make sure that business precedent quote books are prepared in a manner that is user friendly and will help protect the business in the event of a dispute.
Invoices or bills need to be drafted in a manner to reflect the terms of trade of the business and also that which was agreed between the business and customer.
Invoices generally set out the terms for payment and as such need to be prepared in a manner that complies with the law and allows for a business to proceed to court for a recovery of the debt in the event that payment is not received on time or at all.
If a business has to go to court then it is important that those documents are clear and concise and a Court can easily make an order to the funds to be paid to the business.
Receipts may seem like a simple document, and in truth they can be. The difficulty comes when a business needs to receipt payment of something like a deposit, or a part payment for a larger item.
When a receipt is not drafted or prepared properly in order to cater for deposits, or payment plans, in the unfortunate event of a contractual dispute the purpose for the funds becomes very unclear and a Court may not agree with a business’ reasons for the funds being handed over. For example, someone pays a business $5,000 non-refundable deposit for the business to build a trailer. If the customer then cancels the order the question is raised as to whether they are entitled to a refund of their money.
Having regard to the above scenario, it is crucial that your receipt documents are prepared in a manner so that the business can easily decipher the receipt in a manner that will assist them in the event of a dispute.