Sales Representative in Australia

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
Being listed with the trading groups is an obligatory step for breaking into the hypermarket sales market. The cost of getting onto the listing can be substantial and promotional operations are at the supplier's expense. The distributors do not often negotiate with foreign suppliers. That is why it is necessary to go through an Australian intermediary (a non-manufacturing importer, a manufacturer of similar products, a service company).
  • Main Actors
Robert Fergusson Pty Ltd (Electrical equipment)
Gemcell Australia (Electrical equipment)
The Buyers Independent Group of Australia
(BIGA : plumbing, bathrooms)
  • Type of Organization
In addition to their role as a commercial intermediary, Australian wholesalers also offer services such as making up ranges, storage, repackaging, delivery, etc. Wholesalers are generally specialized in a certain type of convenience goods (food or not) or in equipment for industry and the craft industry.
  • Main Actors
Australia Wholesalers, wholesalers' directory

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
As far as marketing strategy is concerned, using a commercial agent is important, especially for an SME. Most often these are exclusive agents for the whole of the country, and are essential intermediaries.
Where to Be Vigilant
The agent should be chosen for his motivation, his interest in the product, his references (his address book) and the range of products he is in charge of. Supplementary commercial investments will be necessary to support the agent's work: training, catalogs, samples of products, etc. Regular communication and a system of reporting should be set up.
Elements of Motivation
The system of commission and the projected amount of commission are essential elements in an agent's motivation. Supervision and close contact may be necessary for a good follow-up of the agent's activity.
The Average Amount of Commission
An agent on commission is paid according to the turnover he achieves. Percentages vary according to sectors and amounts of contracts between 0.5% and 20%. 15% is frequently the rate.
Breach of Contract
The termination of an agency contract is carried out with one to three months' notice. The agent is entitled to compensation if he is not the cause of the breach of contract.
Finding a Commercial Agent
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Australia on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
In Australia a person can do business as an individual businessman, or in a partnership, through a trust or joint-venture or yet through a company. Most foreign companies do business within a subsidiary company, held partly or 100%, or within an Australian subsidiary.
Setting up locally in Australia will offer the determining advantage of proximity in a context of large scale export and marked geographical distance. It will also allow you to send your Australian partners and customers a clear sign of dynamism and determination as regards your desire to set up in the long term and to do what is necessary to build a lasting relationship.
Where to Be Vigilant
You have to adapt to the local context and to your commercial objectives, so you must be vigilant about the structure you choose.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
In the hypothesis that a foreign company does not intend to do business, it is enough for the company to set up a representative office. This type of office only allows the company to carry out promotional or representative activities. As regards taxation, a representative office is usually considered to be non-resident.
  • A Branch Office
A branch office can take and fill orders and carry out a marketing or advertising program, recruit the sales force and carry out promotional activities. Setting up a branch office is considered as a direct investment and must be declared to the authorities. A foreign company can be registered as an Australian branch (Registration as a foreign company). This may be preferable if one of the company's objectives is to consolidate trading results rather than set up the foreign parent company.
  • A Company
Foreign companies can set up an Australian subsidiary either by registering a new company or by acquiring a company which is already registered (a shelf company) but which has not yet started business operations. In Australia this is a simple, inexpensive and flexible formula. It allows companies especially to get back local VAT at 10% and, if need be, to set up advantageous transfer prices with the parent company.


Evolution of the Sector
This type of commercial activity is very dynamic and growing rapidly in Australia, in particular in sectors such as fast food, financial services, health and welfare, and mobile phones.
Some Big Franchises
List of the biggest franchises by sector
For Further Information
Franchise Council of Australia

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
Directory of trading companies
Find more on about Selling to Australia.

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