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Handy Checklist- Purchasing Guidelines

  • Understand the distinction between procurement and purchasing.  As the business grows, set guidelines and delegate clerical purchasing duties, but retain the decision-making procurement role for some time.
  • Aside from employment law, contract law and tort are the only two aspects of civil law that will concern you most of the time in running your business.

Off to see my lawyer can help you draft bespoke contracts, or you may prefer to purchase one of our generic templates from our “Oven Ready Document Shop” at www.offtoseemylawyer.com.

  • Your supplier is in breach of contract if it fails to supply the product or service you have ordered to specification and within the agreed delivery time.  Contracts between purchasers and suppliers can be verbal or embodied in a formal legal agreement.  In practice, the parties commonly rely on their standard conditions of purchase and sale.

Again, Off to see my lawyer can help you draft bespoke Terms & Conditions, or you may prefer to purchase one of our generic templates from our “Oven Ready Document Shop” at www.offtoseemylawyer.com.

  • Negligence is the most common form of tort in business.  Employers’ third-party personal accident liability insurance may be nullified by negligence.
  • The necessary elements for a contract to be in force are: an offer of goods or service; acceptance by the purchaser; consideration (payment) in exchange for the goods or service.  Among the implied conditions, ‘suitable quality’ and ‘fitness for use’ represent the most common causes for dispute.

Off to see my lawyer can help you avoid future litigation by drawing your attention to relevant law on various issues such as the quality of goods, and the legal requirement for goods and services to match up to their advertised description.  For such advice, please contact Joanna Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com.

  • Whenever possible, make sure that you are buying on your terms.  The terms on your official order will prevail unless the seller sends an acknowledgement on which its terms are specified.  The rule is that the last one wins.
  • To ensure that you do not have to pay for defective products, follow the supplier’s procedures for complaint, and return goods within specified time limits.

If you suspect that your supplier’s rules and/or procedures contravene any laws, our lawyers at Off to see my lawyer can review these for you.  For such advice, please contact Joanna Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com.

  • Select and purchase capital expenditure items by reference to fitness for purpose, the effects on your cash flow and net profit, and competitors’ practice.
  • Purchasing consumables on the web probably wastes more time than the value gained in keener prices, but web prices may help you to ensure matching offers from local suppliers.
  • When selecting and engaging professional advisers, pay attention to compatibility as well as technical expertise and experience.  Any excuse or attempt to avoid giving references should be treated as a disqualification.
  • Before choosing your advisers, make sure that they will help you to carry out their recommendations or transfer skills to members of your staff.  Do not agree extensions to the contract until the original assignment is completed to your satisfaction.
  • As the business expands, draw up a set of purchasing rules that everyone in your organisation, including yourself, must observe.

Off to see my lawyer can help you customise your Terms & Conditions in accordance with your requirements, within the confines of the law.  For such advice, please contact Joanna Tall at jo@offtoseemylawyer.com.

Checklist Source: Start Up & Run Your Own Business: The Essential Guide to Planning, Funding & Growing your New Enterprise by Jonathan Reuvid (Kogan Page; 8th edition 2011)

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