“Terms and Conditions”

A particularly prevalent usage is terms and conditions (and the shorthand T&Cs). Heck, it even surfaces in the everyday world—I’ve been known to throw a slipper at the TV when, at the end of a car ad, some voiceover guy drones on about how “terms, conditions, and limitations apply.”

You can always do better than terms and conditions.

Sometimes, as in the following uncleaned-up examples, your best bet is to omit it entirely:

WHEREAS , the Board of the Company desires to appoint the Director to serve as and perform the duties of an independent director and the Director desires to be so appointed and to perform the duties required of such position in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement;

The Executive will be entitled to no less than four (4) weeks of paid vacation per year during the Term, subject to (but not reduced by) the terms and conditions of the Company’s vacation policy as in effect from time to time.

Tenant shall comply with all of the terms and conditions of each insurance policy maintained pursuant to the terms of this Lease.

Sometimes you should use just terms—after all, a condition is a kind of term:

If at any time during the Term of this Lease, Landlord shall receive a bona fide offer (a Third Party Offer ) from a third party … to purchase the Leased Property, containing terms and conditions satisfactory to Landlord, …

The Executive’s and her family’s eligibility and all other terms and conditions of the Executive’s participation in the Bank’s or Company’s benefit, insurance and disability plans and programs will be governed by the official plan documents which may change from year-to-year.

Except as otherwise expressly provided for herein, such renewal shall be on the same terms and conditions as provided for during the Initial Term …

Terms and conditions is also used to refer to the stuff in commercial contracts other than the deal terms (product, price, date of delivery, and so on). I suggest you use instead “general terms,” as I did in this post earlier this month.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

4 thoughts on ““Terms and Conditions””

    • Martin: Removing "containing terms" ("on terms" would have been better) might make it seem that "satisfactory to Landlord" modifies "Leased Property." I think it would read awkwardly.

      But each of the quoted examples is clumsy enough to require complete rewriting. I limited myself to surgical changes.


  1. “Terms and Conditions” is very commonly used for bond and share offering documents that list basic deal terms as well as conditions on who can subscribe and other legally required disclosure information – seems appropriate in this case, surely.


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