General Terms and Conditions (GTC)

Drafting or reviewing general terms and conditions and drafting contracts in the light of GTC jurisdiction, we help to achieve legal certainty


General Terms and Conditions (GTC)

General Terms and Conditions (GTC) are of outstanding importance in trade and economic transactions. They simplify and accelerate business transactions and contribute to secure contractual arrangements through standardisation. There is hardly a contract or legal transaction that is not covered in some way by the case law on general terms and conditions. It is therefore all the more important that companies are aware of and comply with the applicable legal situation on general terms and conditions of business (GTC) in their business activities. Otherwise, contractual provisions threaten to become unexpectedly ineffective, which can significantly shift the risks and thus the costs of the contract.

General Terms and Conditions (GTC) are all contractual conditions pre-formulated for a large number of contracts, which one party (user) provides to the other party when concluding a contract. Originally adopted by the legislator for the control of contracts between companies and consumers, the law of general terms and conditions is often also applied in b2b transactions, even if these are purely commercial transactions. This includes the standard General Terms and Conditions (GTC), which are typically available for all contracts in bulk business, but also contracts which at first sight were not conceived for bulk business often consist of General Terms and Conditions (GTC). This applies to service and work contracts as well as to highly complex company purchase contracts.

In bulk business, our lawyers provide advice on general terms and conditions (AGB), review existing ones and draft new ones. When drafting individual contracts, our lawyers always keep the possible validity of the law on general terms and conditions in mind and draft contracts accordingly. In the latter case, negotiations at the time of conclusion of the contract can be used to ensure that contractual provisions are not subject to judicial control.

The subject of general terms and conditions (AGB) is important in every field of law and must therefore be kept in mind in almost every mandate involving the drafting or review of contracts. The aspects within the law on general terms and conditions that occur across legal fields are in particular:

  • Limitations of liability
    • Maximum liability
  • Warranty rights
  • Contractual penalties
  • Retention of title

In the context of mass business, this is repeatedly addressed, but strictly speaking not part of the General Terms and Conditions, but legally independent topics are revocation instructions (in distance selling) and data protection declarations. Our lawyers also advise on these issues.