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Why not all 'small print' are valid…

Give a reaction / contract lawcorporate law / By adv. Jan Roodhooft

Entrepreneurs often place general terms and conditions on (usually the back of) their order forms and invoices. What is all too often forgotten is that not all clauses are valid. What do you need to know about that?

In a discussion with a supplier or contractor, they will often refer to the general terms and conditions on their invoices and/or order forms.  Even if the company in question can already demonstrate that you also accepted those conditions, it is by no means certain that all clauses are also valid.


If you are a consumer yourself, you can, among other things, invoke the rules regarding unlawful terms in the so-called Code of Economic Law. A whole series of provisions are thereby prohibited. Price revision clauses are also not always valid, for example. If such a prohibited provision is in the contract, it is not valid and you are not bound by it. It is important to invoke the invalidity of the clause itself.


Since December 2020, there have also been a number of clauses in the relationship between companies that are not just valid. a gray list (provisions that are presumed to be unlawful but where the contrary can be proven).  Here too, price review clauses, for example, must meet strict conditions in order to be valid.

What to do?

If you are confronted with an entrepreneur who invokes his general terms and conditions against you, it is important to check whether you have accepted them and, if so, whether the clauses in question are also valid. 

If you, as a company, want to see your general terms and conditions declared applicable, you must ensure that your terms and conditions are adapted to the legal requirements. check their conformity with the (amending) legislation.

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