Commercial agency
Commercial agency

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Commercial agency
  • Background
  • Application
  • Definition of commercial agent
  • Self-employed status
  • Continuing authority to negotiate
  • Sale of goods not services
  • Acting on behalf of another person
  • Excluded categories
  • Secondary activities
  • More...

This Practice Note considers the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the Commercial Agents Regulations), SI 1993/3053 covers the definition of a commercial agent, the distinction between primary and secondary activities of a commercial agent, the scope and application of the Commercial Agents Regulations and the impact of the Commercial Agents Regulations upon the agency contracts and relationships to which they are applicable.


The Commercial Agents Regulations came into force on 1 January 1994 and implemented Council Directive 86/653/EEC (OJ L 382/17), the EU Commercial Agents Directive.

When the UK left the EU on exit day (31 January 2020), the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 (EU(WA)A 2020) gave effect to the transition/implementation period and the UK continued to be subject to the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in accordance with the UK’s prior membership of the EU and the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement until 11 pm on 31 December 2020, a point known as the implementation period completion day (IP completion day). From IP completion day, the Commercial Agents Regulations form part of the body of retained EU-derived law in the UK under the provisions of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EU(W)A 2018) as amended by EU(WA)A 2020.

This Practice Note includes references to EU case law, which was binding on the UK courts’ application and treatment of the Commercial Agents Regulations

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