Do you sell products or provide services in the Netherlands? Then you conclude a purchase agreement with the buyer or consumer. This type of agreement is also known as purchase contract (koopcontract), purchase agreement (koopovereenkomst), or service agreement (dienstenovereenkomst).
Written or verbal purchase agreement
You can conclude a purchase agreement in several ways:
- in writing: your agreements about the purchase are written on paper. In most cases a buyer’s signature is not mandatory.
- by email: you agree by email that the buyer will purchase your product.
- verbally: you speak to the buyer in a shop, on the street, at the door, or on the telephone, and you both agree to the sale.
When is a signature mandatory?
As the seller you must be able to prove that you have a purchase agreement with the consumer. A signature on your agreement is not always required. You must have a signed agreement if:
- you offer a subscription by telephone
- you sell electricity, gas, water, or district heating
- if you sell a product or service over €50 at the door, on the street, or during a sales demonstration
- you sell long-term holiday contracts (timesharing)
- you conclude hire-purchase agreements
- you sell a house or other real estate
Concluding a purchase contract
A purchase contract contains a description of your product or service, the price, and the consent of the customer. You can state the general terms and conditions in the purchase agreement. The general terms and conditions describe for example payment conditions and guarantee.
If you and the buyer agree on the purchase, you are both bound by the agreement. You must deliver a good product. That is, a complete product without damage and with the quality you promised. Your customer must pay the purchase price.
Confirming a purchase agreement
After you conclude the sale, you must give your customer a purchase confirmation. You give your customer all the information about the purchase one more time.
Dissolving a purchase agreement
A customer can dissolve a purchase agreement (in Dutch) in a few situations:
- if there is a legal cooling-off period
- if the product is faulty, and you fail to solve this problem (properly) by exchanging or repairing the product for free
- if you have agreed on a fixed or expected delivery time and you do not deliver on time
- if there is an error: You give your customer wrong information, you do not give certain information that you should, or you and your customer have the same wrong information (mutual mistake).
If a customer wants to cancel the purchase agreement, they must inform you in writing (letter or e-mail) and explain the reason. The customer must return the product and you must refund the money.
Business-to-business (B2B) sales rules
Do you sell goods or services to other businesses (B2B)? Then the general rules on agreements apply. This means you do not have to comply with Consumer law, such as the right of withdrawal. As a result, you have different general terms and conditions for B2B sales. Do customers need a Chamber of Commerce number (KVK-number) to order from you for business purposes? Then you are allowed to show your prices excluding VAT on your website.