GRP Rainer LLP

A Commercial Agent's Obligations


Cologne, Germany -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/08/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Hanover, Bremen, Nuremberg, Essen and London explain: According to § 84 HGB, a commercial agent is an independent contractor whose permanent business is either to mediate business transactions for another business man or to conclude contracts on behalf of that person. That is why he is neither an employee nor an agent middle man (§ 93 HGB).

§ 86 HGB contains the primary obligation of a commercial agent. He is considered as a representative of the businessman (or principal) who enters in contracts with third parties on his behalf or mediates business transactions. He therefore acts as a sort of middleman. At the same time the commercial agent has to endeavour to carry out the businessman’s remit and to represent his interests. The most important element here is not to enter in as many contracts as possible, but to obtain suitable turnovers. Hence, the commercial agent also has to ascertain the financial soundness of a former costumer.

Once a business transaction or deal is concluded, the commercial agent must promptly fulfill his duty to provide the principal with all necessary information. For this purpose the parties also have the possibility to establish an information system. In addition, the commercial agent must observe the same standards of care as a businessman and guard the business secrets disclosed to him.

The businessman, for his part, has the possibility to ask the commercial agent for information about the state of things at any time. He also can provide the commercial agent with instructions and substantiate his duties to endeavour to carry out his remit. However, the businessman must provide the commercial agent with all that the agent reasonably needs to fulfill his duties.

A commercial agent who breaches one of his duties can potentially be exposed to a claim of damages of the businessman. Therefore, commercial agents should consult a lawyer in good time where claims may be raised against them.

About GRP Rainer LLP
GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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GRP Rainer LLP
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