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Beware of Abmahnung: Selling in Germany Requires Compliance

Written by Max Riis Christensen


In Germany, the legal concept of "Abmahnung," or written warning, poses significant consequences for web shops that fail to comply with German law.

Many businesses find themselves caught off guard by the financial implications of this warning. Understanding the intricacies of German law and ensuring your web shop is "German proof" is essential to avoid hefty fines and legal battles.


The Perils of Abmahnung

The essence of the issue is straightforward: if your website does not adhere to German legal requirements, any lawyer can issue an invoice ranging from €800 to €1,500, and you will be obligated to pay. Lawyers have the authority to issue these written warnings to web shops found in violation of German law, with the invoice reflecting their expenses for the warning. Ignoring the warning may lead to lawsuits, potentially resulting in additional costs.


Navigating German Law

German law is complex and highly specific, to the point that even using the wrong word in your checkout process can result in legal consequences. An example from our German partner highlights the importance of precise language: the "confirm order" button must be labelled as "Zahlungspflichtig bestellen" or "Kaufen," rather than alternative phrases like "Jetzt kaufen." Similarly, failing to include the mandatory "Impressum" link in the footer or creating terms and conditions that do not align with German consumer rights can land your webshop in trouble.


Seeking Expert Assistance

To safeguard against these invoices and potential legal complications, we strongly recommend consulting with a law firm or partnering with professionals like us. Conducting a thorough site check by legal experts will provide you with a clear understanding of the necessary adjustments to ensure compliance. Additionally, you can rely on our expertise to deliver a comprehensive set of "German-proof" terms and conditions tailored to your specific business requirements.

Entering the German market requires a deep understanding of the country's legal landscape. Neglecting German law can lead to costly invoices, legal disputes, and damage to your reputation. 

By engaging legal professionals and ensuring your webshop meets all German legal requirements, you can navigate the complexities and conduct business with confidence in this important market.


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