Payment Terms Legislation In Germany

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Please scroll down for a summary of payment terms in Germany and the various industries across which payment term legislation appears.

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Industries Laws Codes Notes Interest Rate


The Law to combat late payment in business transactions and to amend the Renewable Energy Sources Act enacts the EU Late Payment Directive (see European Union for details).
In addition German law has stricter maximum terms. Although article 271 of the Commercial Code sets a maximum commercial term of 60 days, unless otherwise agreed by both parties and not grossly unfair, article 308 prohibits terms of longer than 30 days in standard terms and conditions. Additionally Article 271 of the German Civil Code states that if no term is agreed the payment is immediately due on receipt of the invoice.

The Law to Strengthen Organizations and Supply Chains in the Agricultural Sector amended the Agricultural Structure Law, enacting the EU UTP in the supply chain directive. Maximum terms for agricultural, fishery and food products came into force on 9 June 2021 (see European Union for details).


See European Union for the Directive on Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain which was adopted on 30 April 2019.

Interest Rate

The default minimum late payment penalty interest for commercial transactions is the European Central Bank refinancing rate plus 9%.

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