Is your contract fair?

The Australian consumer law protects small business owners or operators from unfair terms in standard form contracts.

The Unfair contract terms lists examples of terms that are considered unfair and details what is and is not covered. It also covers what you need to do if you think your contract terms are unfair.

Some examples of unfair contract terms include terms that:

  • enable only one party to avoid or limit their obligations under the contract
  • enable only one party to end the contract
  • only penalise one party for breaching or terminating the contract
  • enable only one party to verify the terms of the contract

VCAT decision

In 2017 VCAT handed down the first unfair contract terms decision, finding that the terms of a business contract were unfair and void.

For more information visit the Unfair contract terms page on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)’s website.

How we can help

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has concerns about terms in some contracts. For example, one unfair term that the VSBC is aware of is ‘automatic rollover’, which is common in some industries.

We help to bring attention to this and other unfair terms used in contracts by approaching businesses who try to operate in this way.

We have an information sheet for small businesses to use as a guide.

Download your copy of the Unfair contract terms in business contracts – new protections for small business.

Other resources

Know your rights: unfair terms and small business ACCC video


In dispute?

A letter of demand may help.

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