What does "make indulgences" in a business/contractual sense mean?


What does “make indulgences” in a business/contractual sense mean? Does it means making a payment? I’m not sure how to understand it as give below. I look forward to your feedback.


  1. Deposits policy:

6.1 We require payment of a full deposit of the quoted amount,
inclusive of VAT, for the proposed instruction, before commencing
formal instructions. We are happy to provide pro forma invoices, on

6.2 We may be prepared to make indulgences on our strict deposit
requirement, upon receipt of a formal written request to do so, before
commencing formal instructions. In this regard, we may agree to split
the payments and only require a 50% deposit payment before proceeding
with formal instructions. The balance of the costs in such instance
would then be payable immediately and on presentation of our invoice
delivered. Such requests will generally not be considered for
instructions which will cost less than R10 000 (excl VAT), or which
involve third party payments or in respect of our patent attorney’s

(business) an extension of time to make payment on a bill or note, granted as a favor

In the text you quote they explain what it means. When they have quoted you for a job, you generally need to pay them the full amount of the quote up front before they will proceed with the job. But sometimes, by agreement, they will “make indulgences”, i.e. they will agree to proceed on payment of less than the full amount of the quote, on terms that the client pays 50% of the quoted price up front, and the balance due when invoiced.

So my question is:

Can a definition of “make indulgences” (in a business sense) be :

“to be prepared to ease policy regulation/not enforce policy regulations to the letter”?
If so, I have not found that particular definition of “make indulgences” anywhere. That seems to be what is implied in the above quotation.

The fact that the document you’re quoting comes from South Africa, where they have a Roman-Dutch legal system as opposed to a common law system, could be confusing matters. This may simply be unfamiliar Roman-Dutch legal terminology for the perfectly familiar concept of being prepared to relax or modify your standard terms of trading, if requested to do so in negotiations.

In the common law context I have heard the term “grant indulgence” in the context of, e.g., a creditor allowing further time for payment - usually in a clause in a loan agreement which says that if at any time we allow you extra time, reduce interest charges, waive penalties or grant you any other indulgences, this is not to affect our right to enforce the terms of the loan contract later on.

Very helpful UDS. Thank you.

An earlier use " What is INDULGENCE? In the Roman Catholic Church. A remission of the punishment due to sins, granted by the pope or church, and supposed to save the sinner from purgatory. Its abuse led to the Reformation in Germany. Wharton. Forbearance, (q. v.)"
The term is defined in the legal sense in the English language , along the same lines.

But there is a flip side, to protect the creditor too.

It means that the creditor can ignore skipped repayments, but the loan is still valid even if the creditor doesn’t enforce the repayment schedule strictly… There’s no taking a mile when given an inch.

Thank you Isilder. Very helpful