Country cards of around 140 countries, containing a brief description of thelaws on commercial agency, distribution, franchising and other related matters, such as applicable law, jurisdiction and arbitration are avialable in this section.

Over 500 national laws, in English or in other commonly used languages (e.g.: French, Spanish, German) are also available.



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Commercial Agency

The EEC 653/86 Directive has been implemented in Italy, by amending Articles 1742 et seq. of the Civil Code (last amended in 2000), which already regulated commercial agency. Collective Agreements (Accordi Economici Collettivi) concluded between the organizations of principals and agents also apply.


Distribution contracts are not governed by specific statutory provisions.


Franchising is governed by Law No. 129 of May 6, 2004 (EN - IT) and by Decree No. 204 of September 2, 2005 (EN - IT)


Law N. 287 of 10 October 1990 as subsequently amended, applies. Art. 54 of Law n. 52/1996 provides that the Competition Autorithy shall enforce Articles 85(1) and 86 of the Treaty instituting the European Community (now artt. 101-102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).

Applicable law

According to Law 218/1995 on international private law, EU Reg. n. 593/2008 (Rome I) applies to contracts signed after 17-12-2009 within the EU Member States (excluded Denmark). Contracts signed before 17-2-2009 within the EU are governed by the 1980 Rome Convention.


EC Regulation 1215/2012 applies within the EU Member States, except for relations with Denmark to which the 2005 Agreement on Jurisdiction and the Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters applies. The 2007 Lugano Convention applies to the relations with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Denmark. As far as relations with countries outside EU and EFTA are concerned, Articles 3 and 4 of Law 218/1995 govern jurisdiction and Articles 64 et seq. of the same law regulate the enforcement of foreign judgments.


Arbitration is governed by Articles 806 et seq. of the Code of Civil Procedure (as amended in 2006). Italy is part of the New York Convention of 1958 as well as of the Geneva Convention of 1961.