Agency & Distribution - Entering UK Market | Royds Withy King

Helping your business enter and succeed in the UK market

Agency and distribution – and other methods of entering the UK market – are common questions from our international clients.

Our clients operate in a number of different retail sectors including fashion, cafes and restaurants, cards, gifts and stationery, soft furnishings and toys.

As part of the Interleges international association, Royds Withy King has many years’ experience assisting foreign companies to set up and succeed in the UK market.

The first factor when looking to set up in the UK is to choose whether you want a direct presence in the UK (for example, through a branch office or subsidiary) or if you want to exploit the business opportunities of the UK market indirectly through the appointment of an agent, distributor or franchisee.

Typically, companies minimise their risk and expenditure at the outset by first appointing an agent or distributor to promote their goods or services on an indirect basis and, when demand merits it, they then consider creating their own branch or UK subsidiary company and employing UK staff. It is a good idea to think through your longer term aims when devising your initial entry strategy so that you minimise the possibility of problems later on.

Royds Withy King has advised large and small companies from all over the world on their UK entry strategies and we have clients in many commercial and industrial sectors, but particularly in the airline, jewellery, luxury goods, media, medical instruments, publishing, real estate, retail and telecommunications markets.

Please contact us if you need:

  • a confidential and informal discussion about the best way to enter the UK market;
  • technical support to prepare a suitable agent, distributor, licence or franchise agreement;
  • advice during the negotiation of such agreements;
  • help to identify suitable agents, distributors, accountants or other professional advisers;
  • support in setting up your UK operations;
  • expertise on a wide range of intellectual property issues including registering your trade mark or designs  in the UK or European Union;
  • advice on UK employment and immigration law issues;
  • advice on how to deal with disagreements or disputes with one of your agents or distributors;
  • advice on regulatory and competition law issues.

We have produced an easy to read, plain English guide which covers the following topics:

  • Direct or indirect entry into the UK market?
  • The differences between agency and distribution.
  • Deciding on the best arrangement to suit your business needs.
  • What to do once you have found an agent/distributor.
  • Key issues when negotiating agency and distribution agreements.
  • Typical problems with agency and distribution agreements.
  • Alternatives to agency and distribution agreements.


Contact us now to find out how our lawyers can help to keep your business ahead of the curve.

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