Der kaufmännische Vertrag – safe harbor oder Risiko?


Täglich werden tausende von Verträgen abgeschlossen. Dabei ist den vertragschließenden Parteien häufig das damit verbundene Risiko nicht bekannt.

Contracts between businesses according to German law are not flexible enough for modern international business, say companies, lawyers and researchers. German case law in many respects treats contracts with consumers and contracts between businesses equal, which does not pay due regard to the clearly discernible differences.

The initiative for a reform of the law in this field, proactively supported by the VDMA, has requested for some time that the legal provisions governing standard terms and conditions between businesses be modernised. It is not appropriate – and it has never been the aim of the legislator – to use consumer protection rules in the field of corporate activity. If companies use general terms and conditions, they must be given the opportunity to provide for more flexible arrangements. This applies in particular to provisions regarding liability.

Irrespective of the above, everybody who requires special economic protection must be protected adequately by these rules. “The required protection should not be dispensed with, but the companies that need more freedom should no longer be kept in leading strings.”

The initiative has submitted proposals to modernise the law in commercial matters to the Federal Ministry of Justice and is in constant contact with the political decision-makers. The issue is now on the political agenda and will be addressed .

Already in the year 2012, the renowned German Lawyers Convention adopted a resolution to modernise the German law on standard terms and conditions with an overwhelming majority.

Contact person:

Dr. Stefan Janssen
phone: +49 69 6603-1362
fax: +49 69 6603-2362