Terms & Conditions
For virtually any kind of business, it is vital to specify terms and conditions. In Germany though, when it comes to making contractual business arrangements, the law strictly limits the degree of freedom relating to contracts – for instance, clauses putting the contractual partner at an unfair disadvantage are generally null and void. Apart from the fact that certain clauses are ineffective, others may prompt competitors and consumer protection organizations to seek injunctive relief. And ultimately, terms and conditions that are not consumer-friendly may have a damaging effect on your image and business reputation. Reporting by well-known consumer organizations such as “Stiftung Warentest” (the German equivalent of “Which?”) also includes taking a critical look at a company’s standard terms and conditions.
Any flaws in the actual contract wording may therefore have dire consequences. And that is true not only of the infamous “small print,” but also of any standard contractual agreements that are intended for use in more than just one specific case.
Drafting your standard terms and conditions calls for more than just a rough idea of the business at hand; they also need to be geared toward the set-up you specifically require in your contractual relations. However, this means that standard T&C may not always cover all your contractual arrangements. Frequently, a detailed and accurate description of what you offer is necessary because the relevant goods and services do not fit any of the legally regulated types of contract. In order to draw up T&C to suit your particular business, of course we will take the time to look into your goods and services and work out the appropriate contractual arrangements. Apart from checking the actual wording, it is essential that T&C are effectively incorporated into the contract proper as well. Making sure of that, especially when contracts are concluded through the Internet, is just one of the vital points we can advise you on.
Keeping T&C Updated
If long-term legal certainty is to be ensured, it will not suffice for appropriate terms and conditions to be drawn up only once. Constantly changing legal regulations, in e-commerce in particular, and new offerings of your own may create a need to adjust the T&C. For instance, it has become necessary to amend the required cancellation policy information for mail order sales contracts with consumers, due to numerous changes in court rulings and legislation. We can help you keep your T&C up-to-date, so you can avoid the hassle of having to deal with warning notices from competitors.
Standard terms and conditions help in handling contracts economically, but they cannot necessarily be used in every situation. If individual arrangements are needed, then either a separate contract has to be drawn up or the existing T&C have to be adjusted for the specific case at hand. Giving thorough consideration to the ins and outs of each contractual relationship is decisive if time-consuming and costly disputes are to be avoided later on.
What we can do for you:
- draft standard terms and conditions tailored to fit your specific business requirements;
- suggest how to adapt and reword the agreements and T&C you are already using, and propose strategies on how alterations can be incorporated into your existing contractual relationships;
- help you to effectively incorporate your T&C into contractual agreements; to fulfill your obligations, as required by law, to furnish information prior to concluding a contract; and to meet other obligations prescribed by law for providers of goods and services;
- draw up individual contracts aimed at minimizing your risks and safeguarding your interests.