Sales law is a branch of civil law and essentially includes all legal provisions that affect the rights and obligations of sellers and buyers when concluding a purchase contract.

The purchase contract is the most frequently concluded contract in everyday life. The legislature has therefore regulated the purchase law in detail in Sections 433 ff. of the Civil Code. Under sales law, the purchase contract can usually be concluded orally. There are exceptions, for example, when selling real estate, which requires notarial certification under the law of sale.

The subject of a purchase agreement is usually property, i.e. physical objects, but other objects such as rights, e.g. claims, can also be sold. Animals, for example, can also be the subject of a purchase contract under sales law, Section 90a BGB.

One of the central problems in sales law is the warranty rights for defects. These essentially regulate what happens if the seller does not provide the service as required, i.e. the item has a defect. In this case, the buyer can, for example, demand supplementary performance under sales law or withdraw from the contract.

Sales law is shaped in particular by the European Consumer Goods Purchase Directive and numerous ECJ rulings that strengthen consumer protection. The purchase of consumer goods is regulated in Sections 474 ff. BGB and contains special regulations for the purchase contract between a consumer and an entrepreneur.

Merchants also have to observe special regulations in sales law; the so-called commercial purchase is supplemented by the regulations in Sections 373 ff. of the German Commercial Code (HGB).

Gegenstand von Auseinandersetzungen im Kaufrecht sind beispielsweise folgende Bereiche:

  • Subsequent fulfillment
  • resignation
  • reduction
  • damages
  • Guarantee
  • Disclaimer of Warranty
  • Purchase of consumer goods
  • Retention of title
  • Obligation to give notice of complaint


On the following pages we will try to provide you with as much information as possible about the basic principles of sales law.

We also recommend the following pages on the subject of purchasing law: