Doing Business – Don’t be afraid of the law-it can protect you

When dealing with customers
1. Manage the customer’s expectations.
2. Be clear about what you are selling to them or what services you will provide. Be equally clear about what you are not selling to them and the limit of the services you will provide.
3. Make sure you only ‘do the deal’ with a customer when you are comfortable that you know that you can deliver to their expectations.
4. Do the deal, but only after you have given the customer access to the small print in your ‘terms of business’.

Where the law fits in
1. The small print, the terms of business, should contain all the things that you should think about each time you make a sale but don’t have time to think about.
2. If you sell to private customers (“consumers”), by using a standardised set of terms of business you can ensure that you comply with the new consumer protection law which requires you to give certain information before the deal is done.
3. If things go wrong, yo

ur terms of business will protect you as they set out the boundaries of what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for. This puts you in a stronger position to deal with a disgruntled customer.

Distance and off premises selling – 3 important points
1. You must provide certain information if you’re selling goods or services to consumers through your website or by phone or text message (distance selling). Many of the obligations extend to the situation where you are arranging a sale whilst away from your own business base (off-premises selling). Consumers must be given a 14 day right to cancel the sale.
2. If you don’t follow the rules the law now allows the consumer 12 months to cancel the deal. You won’t be able to go to law and enforce non-payment and you may have to pay compensation. You may also be subject to criminal proceedings as it is now a criminal offence n

ot to provide consumers with their rights. Properly prepared terms of business will provide your customers with the information that you must give them.

3. Concluding sales to customers efficiently and professionally and managing their expectations will help set you apart from your competitors!

For an informal discussion around any of the issues in this article please contact Stuart McIntosh on 01543 440 308 or use the Contact Us form on the website

5 things you Need to Know about your Will and Getting Divorced

  1. Getting divorced does not invalidate your will.

If you have obtained your Decree Absolute (the final court order dissolving your marriage), your will takes effect as if your previous spouse died on the date of the Decree Absolute.

  1. Your spouse remains your next of kin whilst you remain married.

Until you obtain the Decree Absolute, you remain married to your spouse.  Therefore, if you do not want them to benefit under the terms of your will, you may need to change it.  If you do not have a will, your spouse may inherit your estate as your next of kin and you should consider putting a will in place to avoid this.

  1. Joint assets may not pass in accordance with the terms of your will.

If you still have assets, such as bank accounts or savings, owned jointly with your spouse, the assets will still pass to your spouse if you pass away.  Simply having a Will in place that leaves your estate to someone other than your spouse will not override this.

  1. If you own a property in joint names, you may wish to consider owning it as tenants in common.

Jointly held property can be held in two ways.  You can either be joint tenants or tenants in common.  As joint tenants, should one of you pass away, their share passes automatically to the surviving owner.  As tenants in common, should one of you pass away, their share passes in accordance with the terms of their will instead. You may not want to be joint tenants with your spouse and should take advice about becoming tenants in common. 

  1. Pension death benefits are often dealt with separately to your will.

You will need to also update any pension death benefits to ensure your spouse does not benefit from these in the event of your death.  These benefits are often paid directly from the pension trustees to your nominated beneficiary and historically you will have likely nominated your spouse.

Make sure your Will is updated to protect your family
Make sure your Will is updated to protect your family

There may be many things on your mind when you are getting divorced but ensure that your will is considered.  You can make, or change, your will anytime during the divorce process.  You do not need to wait until you have your Decree Absolute, so make sure you take advice early on in the process.

Contact Rebecca or Joanna for further information on 0543 440 308.