business management

You are a CEO of a start-up company supplying decorations to the HORECA businesses. While dreaming of the days when armies of employees and in-house lawyers will do the job for you, you have to deal with clients and suppliers yourself.

On the supply side, you need to secure the prompt delivery of high quality products. You could buy them in Switzerland, but the prices are so high that your profit margin will be seriously affected.  Out of the many wholesalers trading the products you need, there is one in Netherlands that seems to have the most interesting financial terms and delivers of the products directly to your premises in Switzerland.

The ordering procedure is also very simple: orders are placed directly with their driver delivering products to Switzerland on a daily basis. You simply need to check the ordered products on a checklist (which includes prices) and hand it over to the driver (you do not even have to sign it!). 

The training received in International Business Law makes you however wonder about legal risks. What if, for instance, products are not delivered on time or are of poor quality? Before contacting a lawyer (at a rather prohibitive price) you decide to have a look at the legal riddle yourself.

  • ·         What are your potential legal risks?
  • ·         If you have to sue, do you need to go to Netherlands and hire a Dutch lawyer (in addition to your Swiss one)? 
  • ·         Which law would apply to your contract (nothing is said on the supplier’s order form and there are no general terms proposed in addition to the order)?
  • ·         Do you actually have a contract (the order do not contain any signature of either party)? 
  • ·         What are the potential consequences of non-delivering in time and which remedies are available?

This may seem complicated and you may need to get a lawyer’s advice after all, but writing him/her a nice letter describing the legal risks you envisage and giving him/her all the elements (including laws and articles that may apply) as well as your own opinion on the questions above, may help decrease the costs.

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