Facts and Questions
The information below should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific cases. The information on this website is not intended to create, and the transmission and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
The answers and information presented on this website are for reference purposes only and should not be interpreted as official legal advice. We strongly advise that you speak directly to a qualified lawyer about the conditions of your specific case, which may differ significantly from those presented below.
Why do I need to speak with an attorney before forming a contract?
Our successful team of attorneys will protect your interests and advise you how best to avoid future disputes with your principal or your manufacturers’ representative at the outset - not before it is too late. Our up-to-date knowledge of the law and the common mistakes that are made in contract formation will work to your advantage in creating a business relationship destined for success.
What types of consultations do you provide?
The team at John Anderson Law has extensive experience in handling the following types of commission dispute and contract matters:
Settlement of Disputed Commissions
Collection of Past Due Commissions
Consultation on Commission Contracts
Litigation of Breached Commission Sales Contracts
I see you work with both Manufacturers and Manufacturers’ Representatives. How does that help?
Because we work with parties on both sides of commission disputes, we understand how your opponent might be thinking and the goals they hope to achieve. This gives our commission dispute team the ability to find creative solutions where other firms may not. For more information about or services, call or email John Anderson Law.
I am an independent commissioned sales agent. A manufacturer whom I work with has refused to pay the commissions on sales I have made. What should I do?
Contact an attorney immediately to discuss the specifics of your situation. There may be a statute of limitations, which limits how long you have to collect the debt. The attorneys at John Anderson Law will help you ascertain if you have a viable claim and guide you through the process of collecting.
There are laws limiting the amount of time an employer has to make a payment to the sales agent who earned a commission. The commissioned sales agent has grounds to take the manufacturer to court if the commission is not paid in a timely fashion, or if the manufacturer underpays or does not pay the proper amount of commission. In some cases, the commissioned sales agent is due “treble damages” or three times the amount of the unpaid commissions.
Is it absolutely necessary that I go to court in order to collect the commissions I am due?
No. In many cases, John Anderson Law is able to settle your claim without the need for a lengthy court case. We are specialists in preparing the paperwork and documentation necessary for a solid presentation of your claim. Many times, when the offending party learns how well prepared your claim is, they are willing to negotiate a fair settlement that meets your needs and eliminates the need for court intervention.
Is there an organization for independent commissioned sales agents? What does it do?
MANA (Manufacturers’ Agents National Association) is an organization with about 3,000 manufacturers’ reps and 1,000 manufacturers. Since 1947, MANA has been dedicated to educating, promoting and improving the representative / principal method of marketing. Visit www.manaonline.org for more information.
John H. Anderson is a MANA recommended attorney.
Is there an association for manufacturers that hires sales reps? MANA considers itself the premier source of information for companies that outsource their sales. MANA (Manufacturers’ Agents National Association) is an organization of about 3,000 manufacturers’ reps and 1,000 manufacturers. Since 1947, MANA has been dedicated to educating, promoting and improving the representative / principal method of marketing. Visit www.manaonline.org for more information.
John H. Anderson is a MANA recommended attorney.
How does being a California independent sales agent differ from being an employee?
The laws that govern an independent contractor or sales agent are not the same as those for a regular employee. Sales agents are classified as independent contractors and are responsible for paying their own taxes because no withholding is taken from commission checks.
Sales agents are responsible for their own health insurance and retirement and do not receive unemployment benefits.
Independent contractors are usually paid by the sales they generate, and not by the hour. Independent contractors have a higher degree of freedom and control over the hours and the method in which they work, however they do not receive many of the legal protections that employees do.
If you are involved in or considering work as an independent contractor / independent sales rep, you should understand the legal consequences. With so many factors to consider, it is important to contact an attorney that is familiar with contract law and the laws that govern independent sales agents and manufacturers. John Anderson Law is an experienced independent contractor and sales agent law firm ready to help you.
Do I Have a Case?
An employee or independent sales agent should not have payment withheld by an employer or principal because of a commission dispute. Withheld payments may cause undue hardship to the employee or independent contractor and jeopardize the relationship between the principal and the representative, or the employer and employee. However, before you take any action, it is important to seek guidance from an attorney who has experience with these types of cases. Filing a case that has no merit can cause difficultly with your employer or principal and may lead to further strain on the relationship.
A commission dispute case may take a great deal of time to settle. The attorneys at John Anderson Law will help you determine if you have a solid case and if the claim is worth your effort. We will also help you communicate with your employer or principal without injuring your business relationship. Many times, negotiating a fair settlement instead of going to court results in the best outcome for everyone involved.
What are liquidated damages?
Liquidated damages are the compensation in a failure to pay commission lawsuit. Liquidated damages are those damages that were outlined and agreed upon in the initial contract that governs the relationship between an independent contractor and a manufacturer. In most contracts, the amount of liquidated damages is specified in the contract.