Faq general terms and conditions
How can you write general conditions to which you can refer in the contracts that you conclude for your assignments as a self-employed entrepreneur. If you do this, you no longer have to consider for each contract whether you have thought of everything: you have already settled the main legal aspects and thus already have your legal foundation ready. Your general conditions let the other party know exactly where he stands. This avoids unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts about the basic rights and obligations. In combination with insurance policies, this is often a good way of limiting your risks as an entrepreneur.
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Topics that are frequently dealt with in general conditions are:
- The limitation of liability, for example with a financial limit
- Payment, for example payment within two weeks of the date of the invoice and/or payment of a part in advance
- the quote, for example for how long it applies
- the manner of dealing with conflicts
- if applicable, suspended delivery pending full payment, guarantee.
The other party must have been in a position to familiarise himself with your general conditions before concluding the contract. There are various ways to do this. Usually it is done with a hyperlink to your general conditions, or by enclosing a copy of them with your quote. You can also deposit your general conditions with the Chamber of Commerce or the magistrate’s court, but that is not compulsory. There is no point in putting the general conditions on the invoice, that is too late.
Do not include any unreasonable conditions
If your general conditions contains provisions that are on the legal grey or black list, those provisions will not apply when you conclude a contract with a customer, for instance if you teach or sell to private individuals, or act on behalf of individuals. If you work with business partners, these lists do not concern you, but even then the conditions must not be unreasonable.
Watch out for conflicting general conditions
You and the other party both have general conditions. Which ones apply in this case? This is known as the battle of forms. First assess how important the conflicting provisions are for you both and try to find a solution beforehand. If that does not work, you should seek legal advice.
Drawing up your general conditions yourself
If you want to draw up your general conditions yourself, take a good look at what others do. What have your colleagues included in their general conditions? Are there trade unions or other representative bodies in your profession with standard general conditions that you can use? The Chamber of Commerce has extensive and clear information on drawing up valid general conditions.