Avoiding disputes -- How to discuss terms and conditions prior to commercial transactions

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Originally published in Smart Business Northern California in October 2012.

Sales transactions between companies are a typical part of day-to-day business — whether it’s purchasing components as part of a whole product, buying equipment or contracting services. It’s so common, in fact, that it’s likely that a company may overlook or ignore terms and conditions, which could result in serious disputes in the event of a defective product or loss.

“Sometimes the terms and conditions of the purchase order or the invoice are not clearly communicated to the other merchant,” says Stephan A. Barber, a senior partner at Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley, PC. “Thus, a dispute can arise as to whose terms and conditions control if some kind of event occurs.”

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