Professional Pest Controller Magazine Issue 98

26 February 2020

Signed, Sealed and Delivered!

Business feature | PPC98 March 2020

Do you have a written contract for every bit of pest work you do? What needs to be in a contract anyway?

We asked specialist contracts and legal services expert BEB Consultancy to explain how you can protect your business with proper legal contracts, written in plain English, on your terms.


What is a contract?

Put simply, it is a promise for a promise. Your customer promises to pay you and you promise to complete the services.

A common misconception is that a contract has to be in writing – in fact, we enter into contracts every day.

Even when you fill your car with fuel or buy something online, you’re entering into a contract.

Clearly though, it’s easier to know what you agreed with your customer if you have it in writing.

Is a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ enough?

It could be, and a verbal agreement is still legally binding.

If something does go wrong though, you need a way to prove that what you said was agreed – this is impossible when it’s not written down.

We hear companies say all too often that their customers have dealt with them for years and they’re like friends – but when money is involved, that relationship can quickly sour.

Putting a contract in place protects both sides, as everyone knows what was agreed from the outset, so a dispute is far less likely.

Do you need a contract for one-off/job work?

Absolutely – it doesn’t matter if the contract value is a few pounds or a few thousands.

A contract not only ensures you get paid but protects the works you have completed and limits your liability – something that could end up much more costly than the job itself.

What could go wrong?

Unfortunately, a whole heap of things!

We hear horror stories every day about companies that didn’t agree a contract at the beginning and then either don’t get paid, get asked to carry out extra work or even get sued for tens of thousands of pounds in lost profit where their work wasn’t finished on time.

It’s a risk not many businesses can afford to take.

In our experience, trades such as pest controllers are often the least well protected in this area...

Want some expert help?

At BEB, we’re passionate about protecting businesses with robust contracts and support.

In our experience, trades such as pest controllers are often the least well protected in this area - either because “it’s how they’ve always done things”, or because they think legal advice will be too expensive, so they often find themselves writing off debts unnecessarily.

Having a bespoke set of terms and conditions drafted is the best way to fully protect your business. The benefits of bespoke contracts are:

  • Protection

Terms and conditions set out exactly what has been agreed between the business and their customer - they should sit alongside, and tie in with, the quotation.

This is what you will need to fall back on, in the event of a dispute.

With bespoke terms, we help our clients identify weak areas in their business when we are drafting T&Cs - kind of like a gap-analysis.

We’ll discuss how you work, how you want to work and any problems you’ve encountered in the past. We will then do our best to plug the gaps.

  • Legality

Terms and conditions don’t only protect the business, they also protect the customer.

As an example, if you work with consumers and you’re not aware of consumer rights and how these may affect the service you offer, then this could see you in a lot of trouble.

Either you’ll start work without obtaining a waiver of these rights, in which case the consumer could legally pay you nothing, or you could find yourselves under investigation by Trading Standards - both could be avoided with a bespoke, properly written set of T&Cs.

We’ll explain in practical terms how these laws apply to you and your business.

  • Promotion

A bespoke set of terms and conditions make a company look bigger and more professional.

We will work with you to make sure your terms perfectly match your business processes.

If you want to work with larger companies, you will often need some T&Cs to even get a foot in the door.

Discounted bespoke contracts, terms and conditions

We are offering all BPCA members an exclusive 10% discount on our Bronze, Silver and Gold packages.

A fully bespoke set of terms and conditions, under our Bronze package, costs £399+VAT – discounted to just £359.10+VAT.

We are offering all BPCA members an exclusive 10% discount on our Bronze, Silver and Gold packages.

We also offer support for those bigger businesses entering into commercial and other contracts.

We can help negotiate fairer terms for you from the outset under our support package for just £99+VAT per month.

BPCA members get an exclusive 15 hours of support over a 12-month period – that’s a full three hours for free on top of our usual offering.

BPCA has also teamed up with BEB Consultancy to put together a template contract for one-off contracts or job-work. 

You can download the contract from the BPCA member area and customise it for your need. 


Invest in your business’s future by getting in touch with us.

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