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.


Our credentials

“What the team is known for: Acts for a range of clients including large owner-managed businesses and public listed companies in corporate reorganisations, sales and a variety of other corporate and private equity backed transactions. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “The firm has carved out a unique position in its local markets by providing a truly client-focused service, giving clients direct access to experienced professionals and at a reasonable cost.” “Everyone we deal with at Royds Withy King is very approachable and friendly, and we are very happy that they make sure to take the trouble to fully understand our objectives.” Work highlights: Advised the owners and shareholders of Prob-Solve Group on the sale of the company to Exquip Network Services. Acted for Socomec SA on the £22 million merger of the group’s UK subsidiaries Socomec and Socomec Sicon. Notable practitioners: Katharine Mortimer (Band 3) focuses her practice on MBOs and restructuring matters for clients in the healthcare sector. Clients describe her as “detail-conscious and meticulous in her approach to transactions, with a thorough understanding of corporate law principles.”” Chambers 2017 South West

“Associate Rishi Ladwa (Associate to watch) of Royds Withy King has “a commercial and corporate knowledge and personable approach that makes him a pleasure to deal with,” according to clients. He is known for his strong corporate transactional practice.” Chambers 2017 Thames Valley

“Clients of Royds Withy King praise its ‘effective, one-team approach’, ‘understanding of client’s requirements and objectives’, and ‘tailored solutions’. David Cavaliero leads the team, which acts for owner-managed businesses, and public and private equity owned companies. It is particularly strong in handling transactions between £2m and £15m.” Legal 500 2016 South West

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

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