Standard form contract are usually contracts that are offered to a customer on a 'take it or leave it' basis where there is little opportunity for the customer to vary the terms. These contracts are used for a wide range of transactions including office equipment purchases, leasing of office space and supply agreements.
Unfair contract terms are terms that cause a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract, and are not necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the party who would be advantaged by these terms. For example, a term that allows the bigger business to unilaterally change the price or other key terms during the course of the contract may be considered unfair in certain circumstances.
More examples of unfair terms can be found on the ACCC website.
Under the proposed changes to the law, a court would be able to cancel out terms it finds unfair in business contracts offered to small businesses. Your feedback is important in helping us determine the scope of the protections for small business, that is, whether the scope should be based on the turnover of the business, the size of the transaction or some other criteria.
If you are having difficulty resolving a dispute with another business as a result of what you believe to be unfair conduct, you can contact the ACCC or state and territory consumer protection agencies.