Can you avoid arguments with general terms and conditions?

Drawing up general terms and conditions is not mandatory. However, you can avoid a lot of hassle with such a document. It explains your rules, for instance about delivery times and price quotations.

Not mandatory, but smart

A price quotation or contract contains agreements that are specific to the assignment. The general terms and conditions set out the rules that apply to you and your clients for each assignment. If you have a dispute, you can refer to those general terms and conditions.

Suppose you deliver a load of eggs a day later than your client hoped. That could lead to complaints, arguments or even a lawsuit. Especially if you have not made any agreements on this together.

A document with general terms and conditions can help. This contains, for example, clear agreements on the delivery time. In case of a difference of opinion, check these agreements. This is a lot easier to talk to and can prevent a lawsuit.

Make sure you tell customers clearly that general terms and conditions apply and give them the chance to view them. Do that before the sale, otherwise the general terms and conditions are not valid.

There is no law requiring you to draw up general terms and conditions. However, some insurers do require you to use general terms and conditions. If you want to take out business or professional insurance, for example. If you are a member of a sector organisation, you sometimes have to use the general terms and conditions of that sector organisation.

More tips on general terms and conditions (in Dutch)?