Amendments to the Competition & Consumer Act

From 12 November 2016 amendments to the Competition & Consumer Act (2010) (Cth) will take effect which mean that small businesses will now be considered ‘consumers’ and have the benefit of the unfair contract terms regime. Small businesses will be able to seek relief from the Courts to strike out any terms in their “standard form contracts” which are “unfair”.

The regime doesn’t apply to all contracts; contracts must be ‘standard form contracts’ entered into on or after 1 July 2010 and constitutions of companies, managed investment schemes and other similar bodies are excluded from the regime. However, the regime may apply to certain commercial leases and licences of land.

If you haven’t already, we recommend that you review your current contracts (including leases) to determine whether this regime applies to you, to identify any potentially “unfair” clauses and enforcement issues.

For more detail about how the amendments will apply, please visit our website here.

If you would like us to review your existing contracts, please contact Katie Innes.