Offer of a reward

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According to German civil law, the award is a unilateral legal transaction with which the person making the claim offers a reward for performing an action , in particular for achieving success ( § 657 BGB ).


The announcement is a unilateral legal transaction in the form of a unilateral declaration of intent which, in order to be effective, requires submission, but not receipt or acceptance. When making the claim, it is important that the promise is made known to the public, for example by posting.

The person who is the first to carry out the required action is entitled to the reward, even if he had no knowledge of the claim. If this is done at the same time, the reward is to be divided up or, if this is not possible or is not intended by the person promoting it, to be allocated by lot, Section 659 (2) BGB. The claim can acc. Section 658, Paragraph 1, Clause 1 of the German Civil Code ( BGB) may be revoked by a public announcement or by special notification until the relevant act has been carried out, unless the possibility of revocation has not been waived (in case of doubt by setting a deadline) ( Section 658 Paragraph 2 of the German Civil Code) .

The case regulated in Section 660 should also be taken into account, in which several people have contributed to the purpose pursued by the claim (e.g. finding a runaway pet, apprehending a fugitive) through different actions and a reward - if possible - among them is divided according to their contributions.

A special form of the Competition is the competition , § 661 BGB, in which The performance units act can be carried out within a set period of several. In the case of several participants, the lot will decide on the exposed price, provided that the applications are of the same type, or the person who made the award (or the person appointed by him), if the applications could be assessed differently. If the prize is handed over at a special place provided for this purpose, the company responsible must ensure that the participants can travel safely. In addition, the organizer must bear the travel expenses of the winner.

In 1772, under Palatine Count Karl IV., The prevention of a fire was issued, after entire rows of houses burned down in many villages in the ruled area. It was also stipulated that for those who distinguished themselves in a fire-fighting through zeal, courage and fearlessness, a reward of up to four talers will be offered.

Other forms of claims are grabber bonuses , especially bounties .


Many art prizes and prizes in architectural competitions are offered. In the history of technology , numerous prizes were awarded for certain technical services and sooner or later also paid out. Well-known examples are:

Sports competitions where prizes are awarded and where the athletic performance is assessed by one or more judges also fall under the competition according to § 661 BGB; so in particular the riding and jumping tournaments .

Web links

Wiktionary: Contest  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. OLG Oldenburg 15th civil senate , decision of February 10, 2004, file number 15 W 3/04
  2. ^ Franz-Josef Sehr : The fire extinguishing system in Obertiefenbach from earlier times . In: Yearbook for the Limburg-Weilburg district 1994 . The district committee of the Limburg-Weilburg district, Limburg-Weilburg 1993, p. 151-153 .
  3. BGH , NJW 1966, p. 1213 = MDR 1966, p. 572 - Galopprennen; OLG Cologne , VersR 1997, p. 125, p. 126 = BeckRS 1995, 06700 - Reitturnier; Palandt / Sprau , BGB, 69th edition, § 661 marginal no. 1; Erman / Ehmann , BGB, 12th edition, § 661 marginal no. 1; Staudinger / Bergmann , BGB, new processing. 2006, § 661 No. 9