All companies producing goods are dependent on having a functioning distribution network for its goods in order to develop and thrive. To achieve this, it is common for companies to use agents and retailers so that the companies can reach the entire Swedish market and/or international markets. Both agents and retailers hold a large responsibility for the marketing of the product on the relevant market. The main difference between them is that agents are responsible for taking orders directly from customers on behalf of a principal, whereas retailers themselves buy the products from their distributors to hold in stock to then sell on to customers.
At Fylgia, we have lawyers with many years’ of experience and specialist knowledge on agency and retail law. We represent and advise both agents/retailers and principals/suppliers. We often advise our clients early in the process of signing agreements for cooperation and, in doing so, help to create long lasting relations for companies in their business areas. We can help you with all issues related to contractual relations and we have a large experience of representing contracting parties in negotiations and litigation in the courts.
Agency law legislation in Europe is harmonised by an EU directive today and there is legislation in all EU countries which provides agents with wide-reaching rights. This harmonised legislation provides, amonst other things, that agents as a main rule have the right to severance pay after having been dismissed as an agent. Sweden, however, lacks legislation for the retail sector, wherefore the contract details become of even greater importance.
As business becomes ever more international and e-commerce has developed into a natural part of many companies’ businesses, new issues have arisen regarding agents and retailers’ relations. Is it possible to limit agents and retailers from selling outside the area to which they have been apportioned? To what extent do retailers have the right to sell via e-commerce? Do agents have the right to commission on a principal’s sale to a larger e-commerce firm?