The legal relationship between principal and agent is governed by the EC Commercial Agents Regulations. This legislation came into effect in 1993 and cannot be ignored. Sales agents have a set of inalienable rights under the regulations that are akin in some ways to employment rights. They protect the agent against unfair treatment, especially unfair termination, and they generally help clarify the relationship. They also provide a professional and secure environment for principals and agents to work together.
As a principal, you are strongly advised to put a formal agency agreement in place between you and your sales agents. Most sales agents will expect an agency agreement, and many will refuse to work without one. And as the principal you have the opportunity to ensure that this agreement protects your own interests to the maximum, whilst remaining reasonable to both parties.
There are a small number of lawyers in the UK that specialise in agency law. AgentBase is associated with many of the most prominent lawyers for many years, and many contribute legal articles to our monthly magazine.
Having a bespoke agency agreement drawn up for you by a specialist agency lawyer is of course the best option. It is however rather expensive. So in order to provide a more cost-effective solution we have teamed up with a leading specialist lawyer to develop our Legal Pack. This contains a template agency agreement plus lots of other useful information and resources. It will suit the vast majority of situations and will save you around 80% compared with going to a lawyer.