Cartoon of the masterThe Master (“he who must be obeyed!”) represents the customer or the client in our contractual relationship.

First, it’s important to be clear about exactly who the customer or client is. Is it an individual (sole trader), a partnership, or a limited company? Make sure your contract includes enough information to identify the precise legal entity of the customer – company number, for example, if they are a limited company.

Some agreements will state that orders can be placed by either the customer or by any of their “Affiliates”. Affiliates can be defined very narrowly (e.g. “wholly owned subsidiaries”) or very widely (e.g. “anyone who knows us!”). Make sure you understand the contractual chain – if you deliver to an Affiliate, who is actually obliged to pay for these products or services? Do you have a clear contractual relationship that allows you to (if necessary) sue for payment?

The customer’s obligations are often left out of contracts for the supply of goods or services. But they can be an essential component of a successful outcome. For example, the customer might need to provide access to premises, people or information, to enable things to progress according to plan. Make sure you have clearly set out what the customer has to do, in order to make the deal a success for both parties.

Want to know more? Contact Devant for contract assistance!