The distribution agreement in The Netherlands
Distribution agreements are not regulated under Dutch law. In a distribution agreement, the distributor and the supplier make agreements on the supplier’s products to be sold by the distributor in a certain region. This often includes agreements on the term of the agreement, the exclusivity with which the distributor can sell products in a certain region, and in some cases the compensation owed to the distributor if the agreement is terminated.
Terminating a Dutch distribution agreement
Either of the parties can terminate the distribution agreement. To determine when the distribution agreement can be terminated, one should focus on, among others, if the distribution agreement was concluded for a definite or for an indefinite period of time. If no agreements have been made on the term of the distribution agreement, the agreement applies for an indefinite period of time. In principle, a distribution agreement for a definite period of time cannot be terminated before this period has expired. Terminating a distribution agreement in the interim can only take place in cases of default, on grounds stated in the distribution agreement, of if there are unforeseen circumstances. A distribution agreement can also be terminated by mutual consent.
The unwritten distribution agreement
If a distribution agreement has not been recorded in writing, but the parties have done business together for a long time, there can be an unwritten distribution agreement. If the supplier then decides, from one moment to the next, not to do business anymore with his distributor and to terminate the distribution agreement, in many cases this is wrongful. In such cases, the distributor can claim damage compensation in court and demand continuance of the distribution agreement for some time.
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Our contract law attorneys are not only very experienced in negotiating on and drawing up distribution agreements, but will also litigate on their clients’ behalf, if necessary. We are fully committed to our clients’ cases, work in a horizontal organization and offer competitive fees. Please contact us for a meeting, free of charge and obligation.