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Can I buy a horse via WhatsApp?

The use of messenger services such as "WhatsApp" is very popular nowadays. Often, private as well as business communication via cell phone takes place via WhatsApp. The communication channel is practical, short and fast, so that you can maintain your social contacts and also do your business without much effort on the side in everyday life, on the way to work or in the evening on the sofa.

A question that arises for us horse people can now be:

Can I buy a horse via WhatsApp?

It happens again and again that an agreement on the purchase of a horse takes place in the fastest way, via WhatsApp chat. The question arises: Is this contract effective?

For example, a sales contract can be sent as a document to the other party via WhatsApp. The other party, in turn, can return the signed contract by inserting his or her electronic signature or by using an input pen directly on the cell phone. All of this is possible as long as there are no formal requirements in the contract.

In principle, an effective purchase contract requires two concurrent declarations of intent between the buyer and the seller. This so-called agreement can also be made verbally. Consequently, you have also concluded a contract with the baker when you get your breakfast in the morning without this having to be recorded in writing.  

Thus, the above question can be answered with YES can be answered. 

Contracts and thus also the purchase contract for a horse, which is treated like an object in the legal sense, can be concluded via WhatsApp without any special formal requirement as long as the essential elements of a purchase contract (so-called "essentialia negotii") are included in the chat flow, such as the contracting parties, the horse as the object of purchase as well as the purchase price. 

Please note: If the entrepreneur and the consumer conclude a horse purchase solely via means of distance communication, such as via WhatsApp, the special regulations for distance contracts must be taken into account. 

For more detailed information and individual legal advice, please contact our lawyers responsible for this area.

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