Contract culture

Good contracts are the basis of successful business activity. Regardless of whether a contract is concluded with a customer, a supplier, an employee or with the landlord or tenant: contracts are usually about optimizing benefits and minimizing costs, but also about trust and at least an implicit way of presenting corporate culture.
However, difficulties are to be expected in every contract, the extent of which often only becomes clear after the contract has been implemented. It is therefore important to have agreements in place for conflict situations, preferably before and after the contract has been concluded.
Everyone should check whether they have found the right contractual partner for their business. Does the contractual partner, for example, fit in with their corporate culture in terms of their management style, economic strength, and value orientation?
Limits to the freedom to design contracts arise from

- mandatory legal provisions
- directly applicable EU law
- the immorality of contracts (e.g. restrictive contracts)
- Specifications of the general terms and conditions (§§ 305 ff BGB) for standard contracts
- Requirements of private international law with a foreign connection.
For a successful contractual relationship, you must first determine your own goals, but then also take into account the ideas of your contractual partner, so that you can reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides. Basically, all contractual partners want and should benefit from the contract (win-win situation). If you have included all the important points in the contract, you should not necessarily insist on 100% fulfillment in all side issues, if only in the interests of contractual peace. Freedom of contract also means that no one can force you to conclude a certain deal. With international contracts, it should be noted that our Western understanding of "pacta sunt servanda" (contracts must be kept) is not understood in the same way in all cultures. Insisting on the fulfillment of contracts is part of a living contractual culture.

See also: conflict management; human resources management; corporate governance; corporate mission statement; customer management; fairness; code of conduct

Reference to QET criteria: Q07 Human resources management; Q09 Customers; E18 Fair Trade; T01 Guidelines; T05 Contracts; T08 Conflict management; T17 Mediation

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