Comply with the law in the provision of goods, facilities and services

Supplying satisfactory and safe goods and services

The Sale of Goods Act and the Supply of Goods and Services Act make it a legal requirement for every business to ensure that the products or services it sells meet minimum standards.

All goods you sell must:

  • correspond with any description given - verbally, in writing or in an illustration
  • be of satisfactory quality
  • be fit for their purpose

All services you supply must be carried out:

  • with reasonable care and skill
  • within a reasonable time and for a reasonable charge, unless these matters have previously been agreed with the customer

Service providers must also provide specific information such as their business name and address and details of the service to be provided. See our guide on customer protection.

Customers who are unhappy with goods may be able to claim compensation, while in other circumstances they may be able to ask for repair or replacement of the goods.

If any services you provide don't meet the requirements specified above you will be in breach of contract and customers may well be entitled to compensation.

Your responsibility to your customers can last for a maximum of six years, dependent on the nature of the goods or services (five years from discovery of the problem in Scotland).

For more information, see our guide on the Sale of Goods Act.

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations give consumers the right not to be misled by the actions or omissions of traders. They also protect consumers from aggressive or high-pressure selling techniques.

Business customers are protected by rules that prohibit misleading advertising.

Download a basic guide to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) website (PDF, 574K).

If anyone incurs damage to their private property, is injured or killed as a result of using goods you have supplied you can be sued under product liability law. See our guide on product liability.

Your local Trading Standards service monitors and enforces product safety and day-to-day fair-trading practices. Find your local Trading Standards office on the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) website.

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