The main difference between the two is that an agency agreement confers specific rights on the agent to enter into legally binding arrangements with a third party customer on behalf of the principal. The principal is legally bound by the actions of the agent, where the agent has acted within the scope of it’s authority as set out in the agency agreement.
An agent often does not have possession of any goods – once a customer is found, the goods are supplied directly to the customer by the principal.
In contrast, a distributor orders product directly from the manufacturer and then has the right to on sell those goods.
You can provide protection in your agreement for your intellectual property, trademarks, logos, trade secrets and confidential information. It should clearly state the terms and conditions relating to these issues.
Yes, if the manufacturer, or other party, agrees.
Some manufacturers have multiple distributors, some have regional or territorial distributors and others have sole distributors. All of these can be granted exclusive or non-exclusive rights, depending on what you have agreed to.
Being aware of exactly what the agreement states is essential whenever you consider entering one.
If you are a manufacturer, the decision about the number of distributors you use is up to you. However, if you plan to grant exclusive distributorships, non-exclusive distributorships or other set-ups, you’ll need to make sure your distributors are aware of their responsibilities.
You can run your business any way you wish, but ensuring each party knows what they can and can’t do is essential.
Using a distributor, or going into business as a distributor, is a common business practice that all too often is left to a conversation and a handshake. Make sure you have a well drafted Distributors Agreement in place if you are serious about your business.Distributors Agreement Template Download