Commercial Agency Law
Commercial agents have a very strong presence in business today. They can be found across a number of industries and include sales representatives, insurance agents, advertising representatives, commercial agents, trade representatives etc. Commercial agency law is regulated in a legally binding manner, based on the German Commercial Code Handelsgesetzbuch HGB.
The lawyers at GRP Rainer will advise you comprehensively on all areas of commercial agency law and are happy to place their extensive knowledge at your disposal. We can draw up agency contracts for you, assist with the proper legal classification of your contractor status, and support you in enforcing any claims against your contracting party.
Commercial agents include anyone operating an independent trade assuming their own corporate risk, who is continuously and contractually obligated to mediate or to complete transactions for other entrepreneurs and to act in the name of a third party and for a third account. Commercial agents have a legal claim to commission on all orders secured during the contractual relationship which can be attributed to his work. After completion of a commercial agent contract, the agent also has a legally regulated right to compensation from the entrepreneur if the latter obtains benefits, even after termination of the business relationship, which the commercial agent acquired during the contract term.
A distinction must be made between commercial agents and (field) service employees, brokers, franchisees and freelance workers. It is often difficult to apply the correct classification. For this reason, it is advisable to have a lawyer check your status in order to be certain of which regulations apply to the personal activity.
Establishing a Commercial Agency
When establishing the agency, it is important to review and comply with the relevant requirements. For instance, it is necessary to register the business with the relevant authority, inform other official entities of the establishment, for example, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), the tax office etc., and to seek any other special permissions for specific economic sectors. The lawyers at GRP Rainer will be happy to assist you with establishing your commercial agency. Seek advice from us first. Our lawyers will take the time to inform you fully about the requirements for establishing a commercial agency. In addition, we will help you to take the necessary appropriate action.
A major problem in the area of commercial agency law is so-called false self-employment. The self-employed worker is treated by his clients as a self-employed person, even though he is basically an employee. False self-employment implies that the person is only working permanently mainly or exclusively for a single employer, he himself has no employees subject to social insurance contributions and similar activities are also carried out for the employer by his own employees. If these criteria should apply to you, it is advisable to seek advice from a lawyer because false self-employment can have social security and legal consequences. Our law firm will be happy to provide a lawyer who is experienced in labour law to assist you and who will analyse your situation and implement the appropriate classification.
International Commercial Agency Law
Agency contracts within an international context are becoming increasingly important. Especially in view of the commercial agent’s right to compensation upon termination of the agreement, as problems can arise in these cases. While a European Union directive, which applies throughout the European Union, states that a commercial agent is entitled to compensation after termination of the contract, commercial agents outside the European Union have little or no such protection. It is advisable to obtain legal advice on this matter. The lawyers at GRP Rainer, are experienced in international legal matters, are the ideal people to deal with any concerns that you may have.
The lawyers of GRP Rainer can advise both employers and commercial agents on drawing up commercial agent contracts, claims arising from existing commercial agent relations, as well as the termination of contracts.