New laws in 2016: It’s time to review your small business contracts

New laws in 2016: It’s time to review your small business contracts

It is no secret that I love retail and small business – as a child, I always found myself helping out my parents in their jewellery business. Many of our clients are also small businesses, who often engage with large businesses where much of the bargaining power is one-sided.

It can be difficult to balance both a positive working relationship with a large, powerful business, when small business owners must also look out for their own interests in keeping contract terms fair when things don’t go as smoothly as one would hope.

However, with new unfair contract legislation coming into effect in 2016 to cover small business contracts (as we have recently mentioned in some of our past articles [1] [2]), it is time to review your standard form contracts.

In reviewing your documents, pay particular attention to clauses that allow one party to limit their liability or performance; vary, terminate or make renewal decisions about the contract; vary the price or product without allowing for termination; disallow assignment or impose penalties for termination.

These terms are notorious for being unfair on small business owners, its important to ensure that those being imposed on you are not unreasonable. If you are a large business engaged in agreements with small businesses, it is also just as important that you review your documents so that you don’t get any nasty surprises when it comes to unenforceable terms or even penalties in 2016.

If you would like advice regarding your small business contracts, contact Gladwin Legal for a free chat at   or 1300 033 934.