What are GTCs?
GTC is the acronym that designates the general conditions of sale; which refer to all contractual information binding a seller of products or services to its buyer. These legal obligations can be implicit, when they are not subject to the direct acceptance of the contract by the buyer or subscriber, or explicit when the general terms and conditions of sale or GTC must be signed or validated by the buyer or subscriber.
This document is the basis of your negotiation with the customer and of your relationship; it reflects your commercial policy (payment terms, delivery terms, withdrawal period, etc ) The general sales conditions allow you to anticipate questions or possible disputes with your customers.. This way, the client will know your obligations and his own commitments.
What is the purpose of the GTC?
By demonstrating that your activity is well managed, the T&Cs are also a guarantee of credibility in the eyes of your customers. Accessible and well drafted, they can give you a competitive advantage over your competitors whose general terms and conditions of sale are absent, obscure or poorly designed.
The Consumer Code specifies that the GTC must be provided “before the consumer is bound by a contract for the sale of goods or the provision of services”.
The customer must therefore be able to read them before you making a sale or providing a service, or committing to the company in any way.
For example, a good solution is to include the T&Cs on quotes and/or invoices.
In any case a copy of the GTC must be sent by the seller to the customer in the order confirmation message.
The GTC must be explicitly accepted in order to ensure that customers acknowledge that they have read and accepted them without reservation.
It is advisable to have customers initial and sign the GTCs so that they are enforceable.
Indispensable information in the T&Cs
A/ The Consumer Code (whose purpose is to protect the consumer, i.e. any natural person who acts for purposes that do not fall within his commercial, industrial, artisanal, liberal or agricultural activity; within the framework of his relations with a professional) indicates the following essential mentions:
– The essential characteristics of the good or service, taking into account the communication medium used and the good or service concerned;
– The price of the good or service,
– In the absence of immediate performance of the contract, the date or period within which the trader undertakes to deliver the goods or perform the service;
– Information relating to the identity of the professional, his postal, telephone and electronic contact details and his activities, insofar as they are not apparent from the context;
– Where applicable, information relating to legal warranties and hidden defects, the functionality of the digital content and, where applicable, its interoperability, the existence and terms of implementation of guarantees and other contractual conditions;
-Information on data protection, intellectual property and other applicable clauses
– The possibility of having recourse to a consumer mediator
-The applicable law, the competent court and information on dispute resolution
B/ The Commercial Code specifies the following terms for sales between professionals:
Any producer, service provider, wholesaler or importer is obliged to communicate its general conditions of sale to any purchaser of products or any applicant for services who requests them for a professional activity.
– terms and conditions of sale;
– the terms of settlement.
– the unit price list ;
– price reductions and rebates, one-time promotional discounts and discounts
deferred, which must be set according to precise and objective criteria
– Trade discounts (discount given to a buyer for early payment)
-If applicable, indicate whether there is a retention of title clause, a limitation of liability clause, a clause relating to cases of force majeure or the conditions for terminating the contract
The general terms and conditions of sale are the only basis for commercial negotiation. Within the framework of this negotiation, any producer, service provider, wholesaler or importer may agree with a purchaser of products or applicant for services on special conditions of sale which are not subject to the communication obligation prescribed in the first paragraph. (…).
What is the penalty for not having a GTC?
The law punishes non-compliance with the obligation to provide or draft GTCs with an administrative fine of €3,000 for individuals and €15,000 for legal entities.
The burden of proof for the communication of the GTC lies with the professional seller. Otherwise, the sales or service contract may be cancelled or the seller may be subject to an administrative fine of up to €15,000.
Use an invoicing software to create your quotes and invoices and integrate your terms and conditions.
From the Finance module of Lab Event, the first software dedicated to the event industry, you can create your quotes in one click from the event. Then you can turn them into an invoice very easily.
You will also be able to define general sales conditions that you can choose according to the profiles of your companies (if you have several) or according to the type of customer.