Protect your business with clear general terms and conditions (T&Cs, also called warranty conditions or delivery terms). Use these T&Cs when you sell services and/or goods to consumers or business customers. These T&Cs help you keep control over the way you sell your services/goods and stipulate how responsibilities are divided. These terms & conditions are straightforward and comprehensive so customers know what their rights and duties are. This way you can avoid needless disputes. Within minutes you can draw up your own tailor-made terms and conditions to which Dutch law applies.
When do you use these terms and conditions?
Use these terms and conditions:
- when you sell goods/services to consumers
- when you sell goods/services to business customers
- when you want to start your own webshop
- when you already have a webshop but no general conditions yet
- when you start setting up a store
- when you already have a store but do not yet have general terms and conditions
What do these terms and conditions cover?
Depending on your type of business, customers, services and goods, other rules are covered in general terms and conditions. These terms and conditions cover:
- different options for a payment term
- delivery conditions
- the right to change the contract with your customer under certain circumstances
- the consequences for your customer if he pays late
- the rights and obligations in case of force majeure
- when and how your customer can complain
- information and cancellation rights which must by law be included in certain consumer contracts
- the option for an intellectual property clause
- the option for a confidentiality clause
- the option for a penalty clause
- the option for a clause on retention of title
- the option for a retention right clause
- a liability clause
What are terms and conditions?
General conditions are the rules that you want to impose on all your customers. You should use terms and conditions if you want to sell goods (online) to a consumer or business customer or provide services to a consumer or a business customer on standard terms. They should cover key issues such as orders, delivery, payment, guarantees, cancellation and liability. This way you can limit your payment risks and liability for any damage.
When do I need general conditions?
Terms and conditions protect your business interests, ensure that customers know where they stand and help avoid disputes. When a customer accepts your general terms and conditions, you only have to agree on matters such as the price and scope of your service or delivery of your product. General conditions thus create clarity and provide you with a lot of convenience and time-saving. Protect your business and make your own tailor-made general terms and conditions!
Is the use of general terms and conditions mandatory?
There is no legal obligation to use general terms and conditions, but most entrepreneurs use them because they enable them to better protect their business interests. If you are a member of a trade association that uses general terms and conditions, you may be obliged to use those.
What must be in general terms and conditions?
There are no rules that determine what should be stated in terms and conditions. There are, however, legal rules that determine what is not allowed. You cannot draw up any condition you want. Certain conditions are prohibited or are not allowed under certain circumstances, because they are unreasonable. The prohibited general conditions are on the so-called black list. The conditions that are unreasonable depending on the circumstances can be found on the grey and blue list. By using our terms and conditions you can be sure that you do not use prohibited or unreasonable conditions.
What conditions are on the blue, grey and black list?
On the blue, grey and black list are (presumably) unreasonable conditions that you may not use. If you would use them, a consumer can indicate that he is not bound by the conditions. Please note: these lists serve to protect the consumer and therefore only apply to consumer law. In addition to the ordinary consumer protection, the law on distance selling also applies to the online purchase of the consumer, which gives these consumers extra protection. All the more reason to use professionally drawn up general terms and conditions.
Can I change my terms and conditions in the interim?
You can only change your general terms and conditions during the term of an agreement (such as with a subscription) if you have determined this in your conditions. You must send the amended conditions to the consumer. If the new conditions are unfavourable to the consumer, he may reject them or terminate the agreement immediately.
Think about your information obligation!
You have the duty to make your general conditions known to your customers. There are various ways to fulfil your information obligation, depending on the nature of your business. You can do this, for example, by stating the applicability of your conditions in your offer and the conditions as an enclosure. For service providers, however, you can also refer to your general conditions on your website in order to comply with your obligation to provide information. If you do not meet your obligation to provide information, the customer is not bound by your general terms and conditions.
How does the information obligation for webshops work?
Specific requirements regarding the obligation to provide information apply to online sales. For example, you should not only inform the consumer about your general terms and conditions, but you should also offer him the possibility to save them. In this way, you fulfil your obligation to provide information if you state your general terms and conditions on your website and have them downloaded by the consumer with an interactive button. Only publishing the conditions on your website is not enough!
What is the right of withdrawal?
The right of withdrawal is another word for reflection time or cooling-off period. For distance selling (ie online or via telephone), the consumer has at least 14 days to indicate that he wants to cancel the purchase. You must provide the consumer with a form with which he can use his right of withdrawal. If you do not comply with your obligation to provide information, the cooling-off period is extended by 12 months.
Are there exceptions to the statutory cooling-off period?
Yes, with online sales the right of withdrawal does not apply to all goods. Excluded are:
- perishable goods
- tailor-made goods
- goods that can not be returned for hygienic reasons (underwear, swimwear, etc.)
- data carriers with digital content (DVDs, CDs, etc.)
Does the cooling-off period apply to goods in a store?
The cooling-off period (14 days) that consumers have only applies to distance purchases such as online purchases. The consumer does not have this right in the store. However, many retailers give the consumer the opportunity to return a product within a certain time as part of their service, but there is no legal obligation to do so.
Ask a lawyer for advice if:
you are unsure whether you need to use these terms and conditions
you are unsure whether the services and goods are of the type requiring statutory cancellation rights
for services which focus on intellectual property
you are selling digital content
sale of goods or supply of services overseas
you want advice on setting up your own company
you need legal assistance in a dispute with a consumer
Dutch law applies to these general terms and conditions.