Here we deal with:
1) Terms and Conditions of business,
3) Accreditation and Regulation,
4) Consumer Protection and Consumer Rights,
5) Disability Discrimination,
6) Sales Channels (Internet, remote, off trade premises)
7) Provision of Services
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its findings from research into businesses’ behaviours regarding unfair terms in contracts with consumers. The research shows that 54% of the UK businesses surveyed do not fully understand the rules on unfair terms, which directly impacts how they treat their customers. In response, the CMA has launched a series of guides to inform businesses on what makes a term unfair.
The guidance assists businesses with understanding what makes terms and notices unfair, what risks they can face from using unfair wording and top tips on how to ensure terms and notices are fair and clear.
There are 3 levels of guidance – short (2 pages), expanded (28 pages) and full (144 pages), so that different users can access what is most appropriate to their needs. It includes an at-a-glance flowchart explaining how to apply the law on unfair contract terms.
The guidance identifies key things that businesses should do to ensure that they communicate clearly with consumers and avoid disputes arising from unfair terms. Alongside specific advice such as avoiding using legal jargon in contracts, the guide urges businesses to deal ‘openly and fairly’ with consumers and not to use terms you ‘would not like to sign up to yourself’.
Essentially the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 gives certain rights if invoices are paid late. If an invoice is disputed, they do not stop. To overcome this the non disputed portion of the invoice should be paid in line with the payment terms.
Consumers enjoy cancellation rights by virtue of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 and, as the name implies these only apply to contracts between businesses and consumers. They do not apply to business to business transactions.
Therefore, unless there are cancellation rights given in the terms and conditions of the agreement, then there is no right of cancellation.
Sounds an odd question but if you use a “business (or trading) name” then the Companies Act 2006 has some requirements for you to follow, even if you are not a ltd company!
So what is a business name?
It’s a name used by any trader for carrying on business, where:
individuals trade under a name which is not their own;
partnerships do not use the names of all the partners;
a registered company, such as a limited liability partnership or limited company, trades under a name which is different from its registered company name.
What is required?
In essence you must ensure that your customers know who they are trading with. Companies house don’t require the registration of a business name, so don’t make the mistake of letting anyone charge you to register it for you!
Some words are banned from use in a business name and there are restrictions on the use of others.
You will need to give the name of the legal entity (or entities) using it. You will also need to give an address in the UK, at which documents can be served, for each person (or corporation) named, e.g. the registered office address of a limited company.
This information must be shown legibly in any place where you carry on your business and where you deal with customers or suppliers, on business letters, written orders for the supply of goods or services, business emails, invoices and receipts and written demands for the payment of business debts. A company will also need to comply with disclosure requirements in relation to its name and registered office address on business documents and websites.
Failure to comply with the requirements is a criminal offence and in addition you may be unable to enforce your contracts with others.
All new toys that are supplied in the course of a business must be marked with a CE mark (other details also need to be given).
The CE marking on a product is a declaration by the manufacturer of conformity with the law (i.e. amongst other things the CE mark declares that the toy is safe.)
If you are manufacturing the toys and selling them, then you must apply a CE mark. Clearly you must make sure that the product complies with the legal requirements that apply and be able to demonstrate this compliance.
If you are buying toys from a supplier within the EU then you should make sure that they are already CE marked.
If your supplier is outside the EU then you will need to ensure that they comply with the law and then apply the CE mark and your contact details as the importer (into the EU).
The internet is the new high street and e-commerce is a great way of getting products and services to market. This course aims to help you make sure you don’t fall into the legal pitfalls thus reducing the competitive advantage, please note we will not be covering EU VAT rules.