Incoterms

EXW = Ex Works

The responsibility is in this case on the seller. This delivers as soon as the goods have been provided to the buyer on the production site (warehouse, factory, etc.) without the goods being cleared for export and loaded onto a vehicle. This clause therefore constitutes the minimum obligation for the seller, whereby the buyer must bear all the costs and risks associated with the transport of the goods from the seller’s premises.

FCA = Free Carrier

The duties of the seller go one step further than the EXW clause. Compared to the EXW, the seller undertakes to hand over the goods at a defined cost to a carrier decided by the buyer at an agreed place. From this point on, the buyer bears the transport costs as well as the risk of transportation damages.

FAS = Free Alongside Ship

FAS belong to Rules for Sea and Inland Waterway Transport clauses. The seller delivers when the goods are placed alongside the vessel named by the buyer in the agreed port of shipment. Here, the cost and risk transition takes place.

FOB= Free on board

FOB is also a pure sea freight clause. The contractual obligation of the seller ends when the goods have been loaded in the named port on the ship named by the buyer. From this point on, the buyer bears the additional transport costs as well as the risk that the goods will be damaged during transport.

CFR = Cost & Freight

The clause CFR applies exclusively to maritime transport. Here, the seller bears the freight costs to the contractually agreed port of destination. The transfer of risk takes place as in the FOB clause in the port of shipment or on board of the ship. Neither the seller nor the buyer has an obligation to conclude an insurance contract, but it is in the interest of the buyer to provide insurance coverage.

CIF = Cost, Insurance and Freight

See CFR. In the CIF clause, the seller must also take out maritime transport insurance for the buyer’s risk of loss or damage during transport. Here, the buyer should note that the seller is only obliged to take out insurance with minimum cover.

CPT = Carriage Paid To

CPT has replaced the C&F and CFR terms for all shipping modes outside of non-containerized marine freight. However, it is used for all other types of transport. “Freight-free” here means that the seller bears the transport costs to the agreed destination. The transport risks already pass to the buyer as soon as the goods are handed over by the seller to the first carrier or forwarding agent in the country of dispatch. (For insurance coverage see CFR).

CIP = Carriage and Insurance Paid To

In contrast to the CPT clause, the seller is additionally obliged to take out transport insurance at his expense in favor of the buyer. The minimum cover is sufficient. All other provisions are determined in accordance with the CPT clause.

DAT = Delivered at Terminal

DAT obliges the seller to provide the goods unloaded at a terminal designated by the buyer. A terminal can be a quay, a warehouse, a container depot or a road, rail or air freight terminal. In this case, the information obligation of the buyer is of particular importance, as the terminal or a specific point of the terminal should be as accurate as possible. Only when the goods are unloaded at this point, risk and costs are transferred to the buyer.

DAP = Delivered at Place

The clause DAP means that the seller has to make the goods to be unloaded at the place of destination. Again, it is particularly important that the buyer defines the place as accurately as possible, since costs and risks up to this point are borne by the seller.

DDP = Delivered, Duty paid

This clause, virtually the equivalent of the EXW clause, includes the maximum possible obligation for the seller. The latter is obliged to provide the goods to the buyer at the place specified in the purchase contract (in the importing country). Freight charges, import duties and ancillary charges are borne by the seller. A transport insurance obligation is not included in the clause for sellers or buyers.

German Commercial Law

Commercial law concerns all the relations between business partners. The most important legal regulation in Germany is the commercial code (Handelsgesetzbuch – HGB). In every business negotiations, HGB applies. Many questions of interpretation are also solved and regulated by the statute law, commercial practice and trade customs.

German commercial law has been heavily influenced by Italian and French commercial law. In some cases it is important to co-work with company law, intellectual property law, securities law and banking and stock exchange law codes.

Commercial Law Firm Profile

Horak Attorneys at law are here to assist you and support you on every kind of commercial law business. Our team is composed of lawyers with different professional backgrounds and this is our richness. Our services are tailored to fit your needs. Our basic principle consists in professional expertise, excellent education, continuous vocational training and experience. Our individual traits throughout all our activities are defined by specialisation, expert knowledge in different branches and of well as creativity. Early consultations in legal matters will help you avoid future possible legal disputes.

We complement one another having in mind one goal: your success. Are you looking for a reliable partner to put your plans and ideas into action? Contact us to have one of our lawyers confidentially advise you. Personal contact is very important for us – the choice of means of communication is up to you. Your lawyer assists you constantly at any point of your road to success. Your goal is our goal.

Right of representation

Our lawyers are authorized to represent all courts (all local, state and higher regional courts as well as all federal courts with the exception of the BGH (Higher Regional Court). We also assist our clients before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), the European Court of First Instance (ECJ), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and many other national and international authorities and arbitration tribunals.

Commercial law issues:

Distribution Contracts and Commercial Law

The distribution and commercial rights within Germany or the EU as well as the import and export of goods, especially from third countries such as China, India, Turkey, Indonesia but also the USA, have an important role to play.

We offer the following legal services in distribution law to our clients:

  • Planning, design, testing and optimization of distribution contracts and systems;
  • Terms and condition;
  • Terms of purchase and delivery
  • Import and export delivery contracts
  • Framework agreements
  • Examination of all contractual and non-contractual claims (such as injunctive relief claims, commission claims, compensation claims in accordance with § 89bHGB, information claims, anti-trust claims for damages;
  • Enforcement of rights in case of breach of contract or breach of law by one of the partner:
  • Litigation for international and national cases,
  • Representation in international arbitration,
  • Enforcement
  • Enforcement of rights in case of contractual infringement
  • Defense against unjustified claims
  • Tactical advice and representation.

Commercial and distribution agent

Section §§84 to 92c of the German Commercial Code (HGB-Handelsgesetzbuch) regulates the rights and obligations of the commercial agent and the company he represents. According to §84 HGB, a commercial agent is the person entitled in representing an independent trader, mediating with other entrepreneurs or finalizing businesses on its behalf.

It is considered self-employed, someone able to freely determine his own activities and working hours, carrying his own entrepreneurial risks (thus not an “employee”). So-called trade representatives exists in all conceivable industries and sectors, regardless of the type of legal form (for instance also as OHG, KG or GmbH). The actual features of the activity and the commercial agent´s contracts are decisive for the existence of a commercial representative business. Following, the characteristics that should be fulfilled in order to be considered a commercial representative:

  • Permanent contractual relationships with the represented company;
  • Mediation/ Conclusion of transactions and customer care in the name and on behalf of the represented company;
  • Self-employed (own business, entrepreneurial risks, trade taxation etc.);
  • Free organization of activities and free determination of working hours (freedom from instructions);
  • Payment of remuneration without deduction of taxes and social security contributions.

The settlement of the commission has to be done monthly. The billing period can be extended to a maximum of three months.

International Commercial Law

International business not only means import or export of goods to other countries, this also means entering the legal area of another country, and this is not to underestimate.

Anyone who wants to avoid unpleasant surprises should arrange all contracts in the most legal way possible in advance.

Post-contractual restraint  

Under the preconditions of §§ 74 et seq. HGB, a non-competition clause is to be found in many agreements and can also be agreed for a certain time after termination of the contractual relationship. The regulations are not only applicable to commercial employees, but are also directly applicable under § 110 GewO for all other employees. They are not directly applicable for authorized organ members. Apart from formal requirements, the non-competition clause requires a compensation to be granted and a maximum of two years since termination of employment (section 74a (1) sentence 3 HGB). In the event that the conditions have not been met, often voidness of the clauses or a right of choice of the obligated party is considered.

Sales representatives law

The HGB also applies without restriction to sales agents: this means that who is legally recognized as sales representative has the right to appeal to the HGB. According to § 1 Abs. 1 HGB is salesman, who operates a trade. Connection point is therefore the business enterprise. The entry in the commercial register is irrelevant. Business enterprise is any independent, externally recognizable activity that is designed for durability and profit and that is not a “free profession”. According to the definition of § 84 I 2 HGB a person is self-employed if he is essentially able to arrange his activities freely and to determine his working hours. Excluded are only those companies whose operation does not require a commercial enterprise set up in a commercial manner (see § 1 (2)). The exact limit is not definable. Corporations are by virtue of their legal form salesmen. On the other hand, the liberal professions, scientific and artistic activities as well as agriculture and forestry are excluded. In addition to this commercial concept, which has been included since 1.1.1900 since the German Commercial Code, the so-called “company concept” exists in the Civil Code. This distinguishes companies and consumers.

Company Names law

The name of a company is the name of the salesman according to the commercial register.

According to § 18 HGB, the business name shall be suited to designate the merchant and shall have a distinctive character. The business name shall not contain any information which is apt to be misleading with respect to business circumstances that are of material relevance for the market groups concerned. In proceedings before the court of registration, the aptness to mislead shall be taken into consideration only if is apparent.

Business Correspondence law

Depending on the kind of company, different laws apply.  For instance, limited liability companies (GmbH) required all business letters to be addressed to a specific recipient and must indicate the company´s legal form and registered office, the court of registration at the place of the company´s registered office and the number under which the company has been entered in the Commercial Register, the directors and, if the company has established a supervisors board and the supervisory board has a chairperson, the chairperson of the supervisory board together with his family name and at least one given name written out in full (pursuant § 35a GmbH https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gmbhg/englisch_gmbhg.html#p01959 ).

Similar provisions are included into §80 AktG for public limited companies, § 125a HGB for open trading companies (and limited partnerships) and § 37a HGB for other traders. Invoices must contain, (according to § 14 I 1a UStG) the tax number of the performing of the national tax number of the performing entrepreneur be specified. It concerns the national tax number and not the so-called sales tax- identification number (VAT ID). The latter can be voluntarily registered at the Federal Finance Office in Saarlouis and serves VAT-free business transactions within the EU.

Commercial Law for Start-Ups

We recommend basic consultations on the appropriate way to form a company. Who wants to enter the trade-world, requires a trading license. This is obtained after completing a so-called business opening form Gewerbeeröffnungsbogen of the Public Order Office of the municipality or city in which the company is located. Then the local IHK communicate to the enforcement of the (compulsory) membership and announces the payment of the contributions. Anyone who employs staff must also join a professional association (BG). This usually addresses itself to the person concerned. In addition, the IHK, the municipalities, other authorities and many other institutions can offer funding opportunities for the concrete enterprise.

Transport law, Spedition law, and Warehousing law

The transport law includes the following areas: Land Freight Law, Air Freight Law, Rail Freight Law and Inland Navigation Law, Freight Forwarding, Warehousing and Logistics Law, Maritime Law. Also included are customs law, insurance law and international private law. In addition, general damage and insurance law as well as contract drafting and designation constitute the practically essential focus in the light of the aforementioned legal framework.