A well-known adage is to ‘start as you mean to go on’, and nowhere is this is truer than when engaging with a new client to deliver your product or service.

Although we all enter into agreements in good faith, external circumstances can come into play, meaning that when it’s time for your invoice to be paid, there is no cash in your customer’s coffers.

However, there are steps you can take to safeguard against this as much as possible, giving you the best chance of success from the outset of a relationship.

All these steps can be combined into one document which is called a Terms of Trade. In essence, this sets out the terms and conditions on which the parties will do business. Not only can it protect your rights, but it can also function to limit the potential liabilities of your business and provide some security for debt recovery if your customer falls onto financial hardship.