The Business > Doing business > Contracts: Should micro businesses have the same buyer protection as consumers?
Contracts: Should micro businesses have the same buyer protection as consumers?

June 2015

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There has been some lobbying for the Government to introduce protections for micro and small businesses (MSBs) similar to those which individuals have as buyers of goods or services. As a result, BIS has issued a ‘call for evidence’ consultation document to help it consider the pros and cons (costs and benefits), and has extended the deadline for responses to 30 June 2015. I have attached a link because the attached PDF document gives quite a good overview of the differences between the current protections for MSBs as against individual consumers. I don’t know how long it will stay online after 30 June, so you might want to download and save the PDF document. You might even want to make your own submissions and have an influence on the making of new law!

 

Some of the main areas where there are currently differences are:

· Ability to limit or exclude liability for implied terms

· Rights to reject/claim refunds on sales of goods

· Remedies such as rights to re-performance and price reduction on supplies of services

· Clearer rights relating to a new category of digital content, where the old categories of either goods or services don’t really work

· Rights to cancel off-premises or distance contracts

· Rights to receive all sorts of pre-contract information

 

 

While the objective is to help MSBs as customers, I suspect that many MSBs, particularly those with B2B businesses, will be just as concerned about the extra hassle any changes would impose on them, by forcing them to look at their Ts and Cs and their pre- and post- sales procedures.

 
 
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Andrew James