Do we need a Consumer Rights Act for SMEs or micro-businesses?

Do we need a Consumer Rights Act for SMEs or micro-businesses?

We have been getting very excited about the much-heralded Consumer Rights Act recently, which came into force on 1 October and harmonises and modernises the law relating to contracts for the supply of goods, services and digital content between businesses and consumers.  Although the Consumer Rights Act is not perfect, and arguably adds more complexity to the situation in certain areas, it should, on the whole,  make it easier for consumers and businesses to understand their rights and obligations.

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However, the Act only applies to consumers, and small or micro-businesses are excluded from its protection.  During its passage through Parliament, attempts were made to introduce protection for micro-businesses but the Government rejected those attempts.  So, at the moment, a small business would need to bring itself within the definition of consumer in the Act to benefit from its protection. This is not as hard as it sounds, the Court of Justice of the European Union recently decided that a lawyer could be treated as a consumer in Costea v SC Volksbank Romania SA Case C

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