If your business deals with small businesses adopting standard terms and conditions to govern the relationship, then there is good reason to pause and reflect.

As of 12 November 2016, the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) has been amended to extend further protection to small businesses from what are considered unfair terms and conditions in standard form contracts. A term will be `unfair' if that term:

  • would cause a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties under the contract; 
  • is not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party advantaged by the term; and
  • would cause detriment (financial or otherwise) to a party if it were applied or relied on.

Other terms which we think the ACCC will be watching out for include entire agreement clauses and automatic renewal clauses.

If any of this sounds remotely familiar, you should carefully review your standard terms and conditions.