Small print — the position in Germany

By David Klein

General terms and conditions (GTCs), as defined in the German Civil Code (BGB), are any contractual terms that have been provided by one contracting party (user) to the other party, and that have not been individually negotiated but have been drafted for repeated use (even if only used on one occasion).

Most online terms and conditions will qualify as GTCs. GTCs are subject to the strict laws on general terms and conditions (GTC law) set out in the BGB. GTC law applies not only to business-to-consumer contracts but also, partially, to business-to-business contracts.

Users need to comply with requirements in two principle areas when using GTCs: incorporation and content…

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