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12 Dec

Businesses urged to claim £2500 voucher for broadband boost

Businesses around the UK are being urged to make use of a £2500 voucher for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes due to high demand.

12 Dec

Deadline looms for Enterprising Women nominations

The annual quest to find the region’s most successful and inspirational businesswomen will end soon after Christmas.

12 Dec

New Chief Executive Officer appointed by D2N2 LEP

A new Chief Executive Officer has been appointed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Buying and Selling Goods and Services

Buying and Selling Goods and Services
Having formal written information in place ensures the roles and responsibilities of both parties are clear and can be particularly helpful where one party feels obligations are not being fulfilled.

If a business relationship goes wrong a contract can be vital document when seeking professional advice.

Invoices

When you sell a customer a product or a service an invoice must be supplied if both you and the customer are registered for VAT. A receipt is an acknowledgement of payment not an invoice.

An invoice should include specific information including how much the customer needs to pay you and when as well as official details of your company. There are additional requirements for limited companies and sole traders. A range of advice can be found here along with the obligations of both parties regarding payment and your right to charge interest on late payment. At some point you may also need guidance on dealing with and chasing debts, included below.

Terms and Conditions of Sale and Purchase

When drawing up terms and conditions it is important to include specific information whilst bearing in mind the needs of your business. This is particularly important when using standard documents or terms and conditions used by other businesses. Standard terms and conditions may not cover your own particular ways of working on, for example, repair and replacement, delivery and returns policies.

Make sure you understand how contracts work and seek professional legal advice.

Selling to Consumers

Consumer law changed on 1 October 2015, as the Consumer Rights Act came into force. The Consumer Rights Act replaces a number of laws with regard to business-to-consumer transactions, including the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. The changes cover:

  • what should happen when goods are faulty
  • unfair terms in a contract
  • what happens when a business is acting in a way which isn’t competitive
  • written notice for routine inspections to be given by public enforcers, such as Trading Standards
  • greater flexibility for public enforcers to respond to breaches of consumer law, such as seeking redress for consumers who have suffered harm

As well as these changes there are 2 new areas of law covering:

  • what should happen when digital content (e.g. online films, games, e-books) is faulty - the act now gives consumers a clear right to repair or replacement
  • how services should match up to what has been agreed, and what should happen when they do not or when they are not provided with reasonable care and skill (eg giving some money back if it is not practical to bring the service into line with what was agreed)

More information can be found in the summary and a copy of the full legislation.. You may also find the information on the Business Companion website useful.

If you have a specific consumer legislation or trading standards enquiry please call us on 0333 006 9178 and we can put you in touch with one of our Better Business Regulation partners.

Useful information