Increasingly, compliance is required with the Australian Consumer Law for business dealings. The operation of the Australian Consumer Law and its impact upon business is extensive, and impacts upon the operation of businesses in many ways including:
- The obligation to refrain from misleading conduct in trade or commerce (and this includes conduct which is unintentionally misleading);
- The obligation to refrain from unconscionable conduct in business dealings;
- The prevention of unfair trade practices which includes arrangements between competitors;
- The prohibition of certain third line forcing – as an example where goods are sold on the condition that the buyer enters into an agreement with an unrelated third party;
- The prohibition of unfair contract terms, such as terms which create an imbalance between the rights of the parties;
- The prescription of consumer guarantees which apply regardless of the terms of any written warranty.
The inadvertent breaching of these laws is easily done, as many major business operators have found to their detriment. These breaches can result in prosecution by the ACCC, claims for damages, and inability to enforce the terms of an agreement, or any combination of those. In addition, the adverse publicity from those events can be devastating to a business. The prohibitions apply in erespect of dealings with consumers and in many cases small businesses.
Our business lawyers provide advice in relation to Australian Consumer Law compliance and can consider the terms of trade or other commercial agreements and warranties and advise whether they are compliant with the requirements of the Australian Consumer Law.
Furthermore, our lawyers will examine contracts to which you may be a party to identify whether the terms of those contracts may be unenforceable due to failures to comply with the Australian Consumer Law and other protections for consumers and small businesses.