Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Advice on signing agreements with suppliers

Mark Fletcher
July 11th, 2018 · No Comments

A newsagent told me recently that a supplier deceptively changed the terms of their agreement by modifying text on one page relating to the term of the agreement. They found out when they asked for a copy of the signed agreement to be sent to them.

While they are certain of the term, the agreement sent to them had a different term, a longer term with penalty for earlier termination.

Situations like this can be avoided if simple processes are followed.

For every agreement you sign in business:

  1. Only sign an agreement with which you are completely happy.
  2. Initial every page of the agreement.
  3. Take a copy of every page and store this in a safe place.
  4. Return the agreement to the supplier for countersigning and ask, in writing, for a copy of the countersigned agreement to be sent to you.
  5. Check the copy of the agreement the supplier returns to you with your own copy. If there is a discrepancy, point it out in writing immediately.

Because of the lack of evidence it could be hard for the newsagent to make a case against the supplier. It would come down to recollection.

I am aware of this happening previously, of a supplier changing an agreement. In one instance, the newsagent did have a copy of what they signed. In that matter, the supplier quickly retreated.

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Category: Ethics · Management tip · Newsagency management

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