This is a short introduction to the contract type of framework agreement which is used to determine conditions for later contracts.
A framework agreement is a running agreement between a buyer and a vendor. The framework agreement determines a number of conditions for contracts within a certain period of time. For example prizes, guarantees, violations and jurisdiction.
It is an agreement wherein the parties can regulate some more general questions connected to a sale. These regulations then apply to subsequent and more simple single agreements. These could be simple purchase and sales agreements specifying what is being delivered and when. You often enter into these at the beginning of a cooperation. Put differently, a framework agreement establishes the framework for the contracts you later enter into. The framework agreement may be contained as annex in the single agreement.
A framework agreement is a contract form that only becomes significant when the parties make a transaction afterward. You can compare a framework agreement to trade conditions or even better: a collective accord, since they also specify conditions that later single contracts (employment contracts) have to comply with.
When entering into a framework agreement you should also clarify what happens if there are no subsequent single agreements afterward. Otherwise, you risk being perpetually bound by the agreement. You can for example write down that a framework agreement becomes invalid if it is not used within a certain period of time. Or you can include a right of withdrawal for both parties.
A framework agreement most commonly does not contain obligations for the buyer. The vendor, in contrast, is required to deliver in accordance with the framework agreement.
The public sector often establishes a framework agreement for the recurrent delivery of software for example. This serves to secure a steadily low prize (when buying large quantities) and to secure supply.
Simultaneously, you gain more flexibility when you have to purchase something and do not have to constantly negotiate terms. This way, a framework agreement can help to lower costs and save resources used to constantly negotiate new purchases and transactions. This of course necessitates a beneficial framework agreement.