Guide Distribution Agreement

contrato de distribucion

The distribution agreement aims reselling products grantor by a dealer acting on their own

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 Term distribution agreement

The Judgment of the Supreme Court 8 November 1995, whose doctrine reiterate the same Court 16 November 2000 and 1 February 2001, define el distribution agreement as who seeks resale or distribution of the products themselves grantor, and usually, with an exclusive pact, positive and negative, to sell only the dealer and not sell to anyone else in that area. So, it is fixed-term agreements or indeterminate, Through which provider instructs the reseller the task of promoting certain territory distribution and service sales and after-sales of certain products and by which the supplier agrees with the dealer or, failing, a limited number of companies in the distribution network.

STS 18 May 2009, rec. 1439/2004  define el distribution agreement as "a atypical contract, encompassed within the so-called commercial cooperation, as with agency and franchise, in which the present idea of ​​mutual cooperation of business for an indefinite or specified time but with employment stability, for distributing a product, brand or service within an agreed geographical area, exclusively or not, the benefit of the principal, who without meeting the costs of a broadcast network, you will achieve the same end through the distributor, which, meanwhile, It is acting on their behalf and on their own when buying signing the grantor entrepreneur and resell, assuming the risks of marketing”.

Adds that judgment that, “It is also a common feature of partnership contracts, predicable uniquely the distribution, with or without exclusivity ...securing the partner regarding the main employer, correspond to instruct and set the conditions that must be carried out in the distribution of products, and this ... even though not bound by a pact of two businessmen exclusive ... Therefore so you can speak of the distribution contract requires that the dealer is subject to decision-making power, direction and supervision for the employer for collaborating, even if the dealer acts with third parties in its own name and on their own.”

Regulation of the Distribution Agreement

The distribution agreement is a atypical contract which has no specific legal regulation and is included within the contracts called "commercial collaboration ".

So, as well reads the SAP Madrid, 10th section, of 14 January 2019, No.. 886/2018, not be an automatic analogous application of the Law of Agency Agreement (LCA) in distribution contracts. Therefore, They can not be binding nature of the distribution agreement LCA rules for when this is not a contract framed within the scope of the Act.

So, for distribution agreements, as regards the judgment, Special regulations are of subsidiary application to regulate such matters that the parties have not covered in the contract.

Main features of the distribution contract

The main features of this agreement appear already included in its definition, but should highlight the STS 12 June 1999, which clearly lists. So, have the particularity that:

1.- The dealer It is acting on their behalf and on their own.

2.- In a assigned geographic area.

3.- The dealer assumes the risks of business operations performing with customers.

4.- The dealer acts with independence and equity negotiation grantor, without prejudice to the activities carried out in the interests of that and also own.

For his part, the STS 11 December 2014, He notes that scientific and jurisprudential doctrine have highlighted the most important elements of this contract, differentiating it from other business cooperation contracts, and they are:

5.- The dealer remuneration consists of the margin resale of the products sold by the supplier or principal (STS 547/2013, of 2 October). Licensor agrees only to sell or supply to the dealer, but not to pay any remuneration, because he exercises his own business with the risk of profit or loss in accordance with results.

6.- They are commercial contracts continued duration and usually adhesion, in order to achieve uniformity throughout the national territory.

7.-  Usually they involve a transfer of intangible property rights (brands, logos, Know how…).

8.-  They are based on trust, in view of the technical capabilities and professional distributor.

Other characteristic features of the contract, according to jurisprudential doctrine that lists the Judgment of the Court of Barcelona, Sección 19ª, of 28 February 2017, its:

9.- The concessionaire is obliged to periodically only the grantor to acquire a minimum number of products and reselling them only in a certain area.

10.- his regime, Lacking a specific legal regulation, It is largely conventional, although the autonomy remains, as appropriate, limited by Community rules.

main clauses of the distribution contract.

1. Identifying the parts

2. Obligations of the parties

  • Obligations of the employer: The employer is obliged to provide to the distributor information, instructions, technical assistance and materials needed to develop their professional activity.
  • Distributor obligations: The dealer will pay for goods or services delivered by the dealer, as agreed. So, you must also pay information on the services provided.

3. Determination Product: It must be sufficiently defined that product is to be distributed. A correct specification of this will avoid future conflicts over non-competition breaches.

4. territorial delimitation: Securing the territory in which the dealer will develop your professional activity.

5. Exclusiveness: Normally, between manufacturer or supplier and distributor governs mutual exclusivity, in relation to the assigned area where you can not sell that and competing products that may not market the latter (STS 5 October 18 December 1995).

6. Intellectual property: Ownership is held by the supplier but the use is transferred payable to the rights of industrial or intellectual property (brands, patents and logos).

7. Stock: the minimum stock to keep the fixed distribuicor. You can enter the contract one clausulado to collect the obligation assumed by the employer to purchase the remaining stock dealer when the contract ends.

8. Contract duration: If it is permanent or if it is for a fixed.

9. early termination: Enumerating cases which may originate an early termination of the contract, as possible breaches by one party or not achieve the objectives set.

10. Compensation for termination of contract: clauses in the contract governing compensation possible result of commercial activity by the distributor can be established, as compensation for customers or early termination of contract. You may waive those rights to compensation.

Frequent conflicts in distribution contracts

Difference between the distribution agreement and the agency agreement

Figure agent similarities to the dealer, but there are numerous differences between the two types of contract, It is to stand for differentiation:

  1. The agency agreement is not an atypical contract and distribution agreement for, It has its own rules governing, Act 12/1992, of 27 May, on Agency Agreement.
  1. The agent acts as an employee, “of attorney ", and, unless otherwise agreed, assumes the risk of operations. markedly different question concerning the distribution agreement, in which the dealer does assume the risk and acts on behalf, “close named ".
  1. The Dealer profit is the profit margin you get from the resale operation. While, compensation agent consists of a fixed amount, a commission or a combination of both systems.

Compensation for customers in the distribution contract

In practice there may be two different situations about.

Therefore, it may happen that, on compensation for customers, the parties have expressly agreed in the contract scope and regulation, haciendo uso de su derecho a la autonomía de la voluntad.

But, ¿qué ocurre cuando el contrato de distribución carece de pactos sobre la indemnización por clientela? La jurisprudencia y doctrina ha sido muy variante al respecto en los últimos años, sentando criterio mediante el Acuerdo del Tribunal Supremo de 20 December 2005 sobre aplicación analógica del art. 28 LCA.

Este acuerdo refleja que, sí es posible la aplicación analógica del art. 28 LCA que prevé la indemnización por clientela a los contratos de distribución en los que no se haya hecho uso del poder de pacto de las partes.

So good, el Tribunal Supremo determina que la aplicación no es automática and, que para que la misma pueda prosperar es necesaria la concurrencia de unos requirements, specifically:

La creación de clientela y su existencia, generada por quien solicita la indemnización (the distributor) and,

que resulte de aprovechamiento para el principal, examinándose en todo caso de quién resulta ser el cliente.

 Early waiver of damages or compensation

In the distribution agreement, es admisible y conforme a derecho la renuncia anticipada a toda indemnización o compensación al momento de la resolución de la relación de colaboración. So, the STS 30 December 2010 señala que en el contrato de concesión o distribución nada obsta al pacto por el cual las partes excluyen toda indemnización para el supuesto de resolución unilateral mediante el preaviso.

STS 4 December 2007, resource 4902/2000 determinó que la renuncia a toda indemnización para el evento de rescisión unilateral por cualquiera de los contratantes forma parte del ámbito de autorregulación de intereses de los intervinientes, amparado por el principio de autonomía de la voluntad que “es uno de los pilares del Derecho Civil y es esencial en el campo del Derecho de obligaciones, y así lo proclama explícitamente el art. 1.255 CC y lo destaca la jurisprudencia”.

But, la misma STS de 30 December, determina que en el contrato de agencia carece de validez dicha renuncia dado el carácter imperativo de su norma, y en concreto del art. 3 LCA. Namely, la LCA, como norma imperativa aplicable al contrato de agencia, veda la renuncia anticipada a la indemnización por clientela.  

In the distribution agreement, habrá que estar al análisis de cada caso en concreto.

It can be considered the purchase of stock by the employer as an obligation, although it has not agreed?

Al respecto cabe señalar la STS de 19 May 2017 determines that, “in principle, generally, al margen de lo pactado las partes, la obligación del concedente de comprar el stock del distribuidor no puede ser considerada un elemento natural del contrato. Por lo que a falta de pacto al respecto, su determinación debe hacerse en el seno de la integración del contrato con arreglo al principio de buena fe y atendiendo a las circunstancias del caso…”.

Namely, salvo pacto expreso, no existe obligación de recompra por parte del proveedor y será necesario analizar las circunstancias de cada caso.

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