Many companies make use of sales representatives, in one form or another, sometimes obviously (see the well-known vacuum cleaner sales representative), sometimes less obviously. The aim is for these people to acquire customers and orders for the company and, in return, to receive a commission if they are successful. In the case of genuine commercial agents, such commission and other mutual claims are even regulated in the Commercial Code.
In addition to problems relating to social insurance, attention should also be paid to the correct training and instruction of the representatives.
If they use methods that are anti-competitive in order to win customers, the commissioning company is liable for legal fees and damages. This was recently decided again by the Frankfurt a.M. Regional Court.
The company would also be obliged to issue a cease-and-desist declaration. The latter can be very problematic, because future commercial agents could in turn also violate the cease-and-desist declaration. It is then irrelevant whether the commercial agent realizes a special form of debt. The infringement would then lead to substantial contractual penalties. Failure to issue a cease-and-desist declaration would, under certain circumstances, in turn lead to the issuance of an injunction, for the costs of which the company would in turn be liable.
Incidentally, the only prerequisite for liability is that the representative is integrated in such a way that the success of the business activity benefits the owner of the business and that there is a determining, enforceable influence.
If a warning is issued as a result of an action by a commercial agent, legal assistance should be sought immediately and without fail. The next steps need to be discussed under numerous legal and strategic aspects(for example, as described here).