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Order ( English Purchase order , often abbreviated PO , French ordre , Spanish orden [de compra] ) is in the business of the binding order of a customer to enter into a purchase agreement .


The word order is mostly used in business when the goods cannot be handed over step by step between buyer and seller against payment or the services cannot be provided immediately, but rather when they are delivered later. For this reason, orders are not placed in the face-to-face trade ( e.g. in the supermarket ), but primarily in mail order , distance selling and online trading, often using a product catalog . In gastronomy, it is still possible to speak of an order because drinks and, above all, food cannot be delivered immediately. The informal order can be made in the mail order business with an order form, which contains the most important order data as a form and is intended to prevent misunderstandings . Go to form part mostly because of the capacity and the indication of the birthday . Simply sending the (signed) order form does not, however, result in the purchase contract.

Legal issues

The order is legally an offer (the BGB speaks of "application") from the buyer to the seller or vice versa ( § 145 BGB), through whose immediate ( § 147 BGB; among those present) or temporary acceptance of the purchase contract comes about. Late acceptance of an application (after the deadline has expired ) is considered a new application ( Section 150 (1) BGB). An order from the buyer is considered an application in the legal sense. Legal bond will have an order only if their specific information with the selection of the contractor cover and gets a latter-receptive legal position. These principles also apply to all other types of contracts. The application and acceptance are the contractual partners' declarations of intent with corresponding content and the same legal consequence . Which declaration is made first by the two is irrelevant. The buyer's order must be based on the seller's delivery and payment conditions , which are usually contained in the catalog. By indicating that the order is made on the basis of the general terms and conditions, they become part of the contract ( Section 305 (2) No. 1 BGB). The order must contain the relevant contract data; if the price is missing, the price given by the seller is decisive. An order confirmation ( order confirmation ) by the entrepreneur is not legally required, but is often common.

If an entrepreneur uses telemedia for the purpose of concluding a contract for the delivery of goods or for the provision of services , he must provide appropriate, effective and accessible technical means in accordance with Section 312i BGB, with the help of which the customer can make input errors before submitting them recognize and correct his order as well as immediately confirm receipt of his order electronically. The order and confirmation of receipt are deemed to have been received if the parties for whom they are intended can call them up under normal circumstances. On websites for electronic business transactions with consumers, according to Section 312j BGB, the entrepreneur must also clearly state at the latest at the start of the ordering process whether delivery restrictions exist and which means of payment are accepted. If the order is placed via a button , the entrepreneur's obligation is only fulfilled if this button is clearly legible with nothing other than the words "order with obligation to pay" or labeled with a corresponding unambiguous wording.

In the case of deliveries that have not been ordered, the entrepreneur does not acquire any claims against the consumer , in particular no purchase price claim , in accordance with Section 241a (1) BGB . Conversely, there are no obligations for the consumer towards the entrepreneur ; in particular, it is not subject to any obligation to return. He does not have to react to the unordered delivery , he can be silent . The consumer does not become the owner , but according to the prevailing opinion, he can use, consume or dispose of the goods as he likes, and he is not obliged to store them .


The order volume plays an important role less with orders from private households than with orders between companies ( business-to-business , business-to-administration or administration-to-administration ) . A distinction is made between normal orders , small orders , limit orders and optimal order quantities . With normal orders, so much is ordered that the (imputed) storage costs , the storage risk and the capital commitment are justifiable with regard to the sales process. A small order is when, due to a certain customer order, goods that are in less demand have to be ordered in small quantities and are not in stock due to the storage risk. With a limit order, various materials can be procured from a supplier to the amount of a specified value (value limit). An optimal order quantity is when the purchase costs (order costs and storage costs) are at a minimum, given readiness for delivery . When scheduling orders, companies must take into account the delivery time known from suppliers , during which delivery readiness must continue to exist. When it comes to delivery time, a distinction is made between normal orders and express orders .

Stock Transport , blanket purchase order and requisition are organizationally related order types. While certain materials are transported internally from one warehouse to another with stock transfer orders, framework orders are used for the long-term mapping of delivery contracts in which individual delivery calls can be made successively (for example, with successive delivery contracts ). If materials or services for the production process are to be procured within a company , a purchase requisition (often shortened to BANF ) is required as soon as there is a corresponding need. It was only due to this purchase requisition is by shopping the associated order triggered.

Pre-orders refer to goods that have not yet appeared in stores and will only be delivered on the release date.


The word order also has other terms. So there is in agriculture , the field order or Banking ordering collateral by the protection seller . The creation of loan collateral (such as mortgage liens ) takes place between the security buyer and the security seller in the so-called security agreement . The appointment as a board member ( board member or supervisory board member ) is based exclusively on corporate law principles.

See also


  • H. Arnolds, F. Heese, C. Röh, W. Tussing: Materials management and purchasing. 12th edition. Wiesbaden 2013, ISBN 978-3-8349-3160-3 .
  • G. Oeldorf, K. Olfert: Materials management. 12th edition. Kiehl, Ludwigshafen / Rhein 2008, ISBN 978-3-470-54142-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. a b Paul Wenzel (Ed.): Logistics with SAP R / 3®. Vieweg, Braunschweig et al. 2001, ISBN 3-528-03161-1 , p. 85.