How to correctly write your General Terms and Conditions in France

Writing you French Terms and Conditions

General Terms and Conditions refer to a document that gives general information about your product to clients and partners. It’s mandatory for any commercial website to mention them.
When writing them, you have to be careful, though: they can’t include “unfair terms”.

What are unfair terms?

Basically, these are any terms within your General Terms and Conditions that favor you at the expense of your client. It’s worth noting that this isn’t a contract between two professionals, but just a contract between a professional and a consumer, and generally, the French law tends to protect consumers.

What should you avoid when writing General Terms and Conditions?

There are three types of terms you need to watch out for:

  • “Black” clauses: these are the ones that clearly favor you, and restrict the consumer. These can be clauses that completely prevent the consumer from asking for compensation, for example.
  • “Grey clauses”: these are clauses that aren’t automatically considered to be unfair by the law. However, you’ll still have to prove that they are fair in case this matter ever gets to court.
  • Clauses specific to e-commerce: You have to be especially careful when writing clauses about using the data of consumers. Especially now that the GDPR has come into play, a clause that automatically allows you to sell the data of your consumers to third parties is likely to be considered “unfair”.

As such, it might be worth your time to seek the help of a professional when writing your General Terms and Conditions!