The Federal Government has released a consultation paper seeking feedback from small business owners on proposed protections from unfair contract terms.

Small businesses are frequently required by larger businesses to enter into standard form contracts that contain ‘take it or leave it’ provisions which unreasonably disadvantage small businesses. An example of such a provision is one that denies a small business the right to terminate a contract when the larger business can or inappropriately limits the contractual liability of the larger business to the smaller business.

In 2011, the law governing standard form consumer contracts was significantly reformed to protect consumers under the Australian Consumer Law. The consultation paper proposes for the Australian Consumer Law to be extended to protect small business owners and if introduced, the laws will impact on a large range of business to business transactions.

Small business owners that would like to provide feedback may make a submission to Treasury by 1 August 2014 or complete a short survey on the Treasury website

For more information please contact:

Ashleigh Wall
Lawyer
Harwood Andrews
03 5226 8559
awall@harwoodandrews.com.au

Beth Malouf
Lawyer
Harwood Andrews
03 5225 5264
bmalouf@harwoodandrews.com.au