The Commercial Agents Directive (Council Directive 86/653/EEC), implemented in Ireland with the Commercial Agents Regulations of 1994 and 1997, govern the relationship between a certain type of commercial agent and their principal.

The Regulations cover the rights and obligations of both agents and principals, as well as providing commercial agents with a number of significant protections. The purpose of the Commercial Agents Regulations is to afford protections to the self-employed commercial agent (beyond whatever contractual arrangements exist) in recognition of the imbalance in power between them and the typically larger principal on whom the commercial agent’s livelihood may depend.