How do the Austrian legal regulations define the commercial agent?
Pursuant to Sec. 1 of the Austrian Commercial Agency Act (HVertrG), a commercial agent is any party who is entrusted by another party, on an ongoing basis, with arranging or concluding transactions in the latter’s name and on its account, except concerning immovables, and handles such task independently and commercially.
Crucial for assessing said activity is not the designation of the agreement, but how the agreement is actually filled with life.
In light of the Austrian case law, “arranging” is taken to mean that, through its direct or indirect influence upon the potential business partner of the company (e.g. by informing, advising and discussing matters, etc. with the latter), the commercial agent promotes the conclusion of the transaction. New customers are, in any event, those customers with which the company had not yet entered into any business relations as at the commencement of the commercial agency relationship.