Agency contracts require precise terms for two main reasons:
- To ensure agents performs their duties; and
- To avoid disputes
The businesses we represent in London and elsewhere are legally responsible for the actions of their agents. So it’s crucial to protect their position before formalising any agreements. At Nath Solicitors we provide meticulously drafted contracts and provide advice on key contract terms that can mitigate liability in specific circumstances.
Commercial Agents Regulations, 1993: Increased protection for agents
The Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 provide agents with increased protection, especially around the termination of an agency agreement following a dispute.
The regulations also provide protection around the duties of the principal, remuneration and notice periods for ending the agreement.
In certain circumstances agents may claim compensation where the principal ends the agency relationship.
All businesses entering agency agreements must follow these regulations. When drafting your agency contracts we ensure full compliance with these and other laws, both domestic and international (if required). Our commercial solicitors have the business acumen required to ensure your agency agreement fully protects your commercial interests.
What are the key elements of agency agreements?
The main areas to cover in any agreement include:
- the agent’s territory and whether they have exclusive rights within that area
- which products they can sell
- the agent’s authority
- any restrictions on the agent’s activities (e.g. selling competing products)
- your respective responsibilities in terms of promoting your product, making sales and fulfilling orders
- the agent’s rights and restrictions in relation to your intellectual property
- restrictions on disclosure of confidential information
- how the agent is paid (including rules on expenses)
- rates of commission and whether it differs from product to product or customer to customer
- arrangements for terminating the relationship
Our team can advise on agency agreements operating both in the UK and abroad.
To discuss how we can assist you with creating, drafting, and negotiating agency contracts, please call our London office on 0203 670 5540 to make an appointment with one of our solicitors. You can also contact us online.