Sales Representative in Syria

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Main Actors
Cham City Center
  • Main Actors
Wholesalers are located in the center of the markets of the main cities, and in general, each street is specialized in one type of product. For example, in Damascus: The spices and sweet-shops are in the "souk" of Bouzrieh; the religious clothing (keffieh) are at Midhat Pacha; the clothing material are at the "souk" Hamidiyeh...
1stworldtradeportal  publishes a list of wholesalers in Syria.

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
Collaborating with a commercial agent in Syria can allow to understand the environment, the economic and commercial situation of the market in which the company evolves. This can also constitute a sale power which will enable the investor to develop his sales and to avoid many charges linked to the establishment of a total new structure.

The commercial agent constitutes a collector of information which represents an additional important value in a country such as Syria where it is difficult to obtain the appropriate information about the market, which logically optimizes time and expenses.

Moreover, the commercial agent has an experience in the market and counts with a portfolio of exploitable clients.

Where to Be Vigilant
- It is important to have the contract perfectly established (provisions, etc.) in order to prevent eventual disputes, especially regarding the current expenses of the commercial agent;

- It must be avoided to develop a relation of dependency between the purveyor and the commercial agent, considering the complexity and the lack of transparency on the Syrian market, which is in a full-development stage;

- The administrative procedures and the mandatory requirement that the commercial agent must have a Syrian nationality can become very difficult.

Elements of Motivation
The commercial agent is associated to the company through a contract of representation, its main motivation is based on the commission that he will receive if he accomplishes the objectives of maximizing the activities of the company.
The Average Amount of Commission
The activity of a commercial agent in Syria is ruled by the legislative decree No. 151 of March 3, 1952 and modified in July 2001. The commercial agent is a representative in charge of negotiating and eventually concluding sales contracts, buying, renting or hiring services in the name or in the account of his principal. The agent is associated to the company by a contract of representation based on commission . 

This type of contract generally defines the agent's payment, which can be determined by the amount of sales that he produces for the principal's account. However, it is possible that the commercial agent can receive fixed payments, but these are not mandatory.

Breach of Contract
The contract of payment between the commercial agent and the company targeting the Syrian market must respect the following conditions:
- The agent can be a physical or a corporate body.  If it is a physical person, he must be a Syrian citizen, registered at the Registrar's office, resident of Syria for at least four years and performing an activity;
- The head offices of a corporate body must be in Syria and they have to be officially registered at the Department of Enterprises of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade.

Right after having signed the contract, it is mandatory that all physical persons performing the active roles of representative or agent present a registration request at the Ministry of Economy. This request must be presented along with the certified copy of the contract of payment.

The contract of payment must stipulate all of the following information:

- Name and commercial address of the represented company;
- Nationality and place of creation of the company;
- Address of the headquarters (name and address of branches if the agency's contract includes these);
- Amount of commission and method of payment;
- Agency's objective (definition of its products);
- The term of the Contract and the conditions for its renewal;
- Name of the agent and his commercial address;
- Area of activity of the commercial agent.

For more information, consult Uktradeinvest.

Finding a Commercial Agent
1st World's Trade Portal
Gulf Business
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Syria on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
The legal and monetary environment in Syria has deeply changed these last recent years with the purpose of encouraging foreign investment. The country has notably modified its commercial laws in order to develop its network of enterprises. The main legal new measure was established in March 2008 which consists of a new law for the companies, allowing the creation of all types of companies (Limited Liability, Limited Company, Partnership, etc.). This measure comes along with reforms on the banking and financial systems, as well as new  fiscal rules which provide advantages to the establishment of companies in Syria.
Where to Be Vigilant
- The initial investment is higher;

- A foreign company invests on a medium-long term range and it will be more susceptible to political risk;

- The creation of a commercial company is an enterprise that requires cumbersome administration procedures, in spite of the legal improvements linked to the law for the investment of 1991 and 2000;

- In order to make the subsidiary company profitable, it is essential to have a team technically competent, proficient not only in marketing experience but also in the legal, banking and financing aspects of the local environment.

Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
Same as the branch agencies, the representative office does not have a fiscal or legal entity. It is an extension of services decentralized from the foreign company, allowing it to be present in the Syrian market. In this way, the foreign company can show, to its clients and to the public authorities, its presence in Syria through a network of commercial agents.
  • A Branch Office
It is possible to be established in Syria as a branch office of a foreign company. The branch office allows the foreign company to establish itself into the Syrian market and to begin the process of prospecting, promoting, communicating and distributing, as well as selling its products or its services. Therefore, the company has a direct presence in the market and at the same time it limits the cost of its creation.
  • A Company
The liberalization of foreign trade has created a softening of the Syrian commercial law in order to facilitate the creation of foreign company's subsidiaries.

The Syrian subsidiary is subject to the Syrian Commercial Code. It can take the form of a partnership (general partnership, limited partnership, joint venture) or investing capital companies (Limited Company, Limited Liability). The creation of a commercial company is subject to very strict conditions stipulated in the commercial code.

In the case of an investing capital company, it is required to obtain an agreement from the Ministry of Foreign Trade in order to establish the company's articles of incorporation.

The law No. 10 of investments allows the incorporation of commercial units through foreign capitals. The Limited Liability, for example, can be endowed with a 100% of foreign capital (this possibility is subject to an authorization from the ministry). It is also possible to create a semi-public company (private and public capital, 25% minimum of participation in public structures).

The creation of a subsidiary company can assure more autonomy for the foreign company and constitutes the entrance into the Syrian market in the most complete possible way.

Find more on about Selling to Syria.

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