Business Contracts

Although commercial contracts do not specifically have to be in writing, it makes perfect sense to at least have the basic rights and responsibilities of all parties involved in the transaction written clearly and signed by those involved. This simple written contract may be very important if a commercial dispute is to arise.

Standard contract terms (usually called ‘terms of business’ and ‘terms and conditions’) are normally appropriate when the business is selling goods are services that are the same or very similar.  For other goods and services that may be different each time, you may want to negotiate separate contract for each transaction that take place; typically for services such as software development or one off goods or services.

Basic terms of trade and business will normally outline what each party in the transaction is agreeing to. Clauses must be included that detail the price of the good or service, payment terms, how and when they will be delivered and a description of the good or service.

Commonly, terms and conditions for the sale of goods allow the seller to keep ownership of the product until the full payment has been made to them. This protects the seller from a customer who may initially want the product and receives it, but later defaults of their promise to pay for it. If the seller choses to, they can opt out and decide to give the product to a buyer on finance or credit. The seller is well within their statutory rights to charge an interest rate of late payments. The rate of interest must be detailed on the detailed in the terms and conditions of the transaction.  It is very advisable to consult a legal expert when drafting up any terms and conditions for transactions, whether they are one off or continuous, this is to make sure that as a business, you are honouring legal requirements.

This information was provided by LegalIdiot.

Commercial Disputes

Commercial disputes can be very costly, stressful and time consuming. They also damage relationships and the reputation if the businesses involved. To minimise the rise of commercial disputes, it is advisable for businesses to have clear written contracts between customer, suppliers and other third parties.


Despite taking up precautions that minimise the risk of commercial disputes, it is likely that eventually, one will arise. Sometimes it is necessary to fight for the right deal and not settle for an unjust outcome. It is advisable to aim for a resolution to a dispute rather than to try to come out on top. At the end of the day, although a conflict of interests has occurred, it is still possible to retain a working relationship and minimise the costs and disruption as a result of the dispute. When attempting to resolve a dispute, it is important to remain firm and have any dispute resolution clauses or terms put into writing with the aid of a legal expert.

If Negotiation fails, it is possible to seek other forms of resolution, such as mediation or arbitration.

Legal advice is can be very beneficial when it comes to safe guarding against commercial disputes. A long term relationship with a law firm would usually mean that standard terms and conditions would already be put in a way such they too also minimise the risk of disputes; a highly cost effective use of legal advice. A long term relationship with a law firm may also be very beneficial when it comes to dealing with recurring disputes such, such as debt recover issues; a common cause of many commercial disputes in the business world.

Commercial disputes can be very expensive, especially if they make it to court. You may want to consider an insurance policy to cover legal expenses as part of your strategy to deal with disputes.

Steve Turnbull has been financial writer and commentator for five years, covering topics such as personal and business finance. He is currently a resident blogger at, where he is covering the latest financial news as well as reporting  on the mis-sold PPI claims scandal.