Bespoke General Terms and Conditions

The General Terms and Conditions (Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen, AGBs) are a set of pre-formulated standard clauses designed to make day-to-day business easier. There is no obligation to use these standard clauses. In some cases it can be advantageous to regulate internet transactions using bespoke general terms and conditions.

If you decide to copy general terms and conditions used by other companies, caution is required. The fact that a large company is well known does not necessarily mean that the clauses they use are legally watertight. It is highly unlikely that such clauses will suit your specific needs. Terms of use, for example, are generally only practical when they have been adapted to a particular business concept.

Under general terms and conditions liability can often be excluded or minimised. It can also be important to stipulate that the customer bears the cost of returning a product, should they decide to withdraw from a contract. A further classic area to consider regulating in the general terms and conditions is the retention of title. This can offer high security, in particular where products of high value are concerned. Additionally, it can be beneficial to include clause relating to jurisdiction in the case of a dispute.

The scope for general terms and conditions is almost limitless and depends very much on your business needs. We will be happy to advise you on the opportunities open to you and to develop bespoke general terms and conditions together with you.

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Christian Solmecke is a partner at the law firm WILDE BEUGER SOLMECKE. He is the author of numerous legal publications in the area of internet and IT law. He is also an associate lecturer for social media law at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

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