Commercial forms — such as quotations, purchase orders and invoices — and associated terms and conditions are ubiquitous in the supply chain and often the only contract between a buyer and seller.

When used correctly, these forms efficiently document the parties’ understanding regarding their agreement, avoiding the need to negotiate a complicated contract. Often, however, businesses treat these form sales documents too casually and do not adequately consider the implications of exchanging conflicting printed terms.

As the global economy continues to grapple with labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and elevated prices, it is more important than ever for businesses to think carefully about their quotations and terms and conditions of sale (for sellers) and purchase orders or terms and conditions of purchase (for buyers).

Well-crafted terms help both sides manage risk and avoid unnecessary costs.

This article provides an overview of some key terms buyers and sellers should include in their sales documents to protect their interests. Read more from Foley & Lardner LLP’s Vanessa Miller, Kathleen Wegrzyn, David Lucey, Leah Imbrogno, Austin Kissinger, and Jenene Ebstein here.