China Distribution Contracts: The Questions We Ask

China trademark lawyersForming a WFOE in China and then running that organization in China is difficult and costly. See e.g., Forming a China WFOE: 10 Issues To Take into consideration and also Doing Enterprise in China with Deportation or Worse Hanging More than Your Head on why possessing a WFOE is a should if you will be carrying out organization within just China. For the reason that of this, our China attorneys are observing growing quantities of foreign providers picking to provide their items in China by way of distribution relationships alternatively than by way of a WFOE. For the basic principles on what is concerned in creating a distribution marriage with a Chinese corporation, examine out the following:

Today’s article focuses on some of the inquiries we typically check with our shoppers that are on the lookout to do distribution agreements with a Chinese corporation. It consists mostly of an amalgamation of e-mails from our China attorneys in search of much more customer data and delivering further customer support right before drafting a China distribution arrangement.


I have the following primary inquiries and remarks regarding your arrangement.

1). For payment phrases. The conventional is as follows:

a. Shipping and delivery phrases can be CIF or ExWorks. For items like yours, ExWorks is widespread, considering the fact that estimating transport and insurance policy prices can be very difficult. If you do not know the port, you should not quote prices CIF and you should as an alternative quote either Free Carrier (most widespread) or Ex Performs. Possibly way, your distributor would be accountable for the transport value to the port of its picking. It may possibly be Shanghai for just one cargo, it may possibly be Qingdao for one more cargo. That would be their selection and you want to depart the phrases versatile so they can make the selection in a way that will not place you at a monetary drawback.

I suggest you do not consist of price tag in the arrangement but as an alternative provide that your items will be sold at your normal distributor export price tag pursuant to a price tag listing you will periodically provide to your distributor.

b. China’s letter of credit rating process is not really productive. If you ship your items right before getting payment for them, you are using the whole hazard that the Chinese facet will not spend. Our shoppers generally deal with this in two approaches:

i. Conservative companies demand whole payment right before they ship.

ii. Fewer hazard averse companies ship on 30 times following the day of cargo (Net30) phrases. These companies provide for the appropriate to shift to payment right before ship phrases if there is a challenge.

2. You point out seeking your proposed distributor to make advance payment for ample product to protect a few months of projected profits. You need to have to specify an exact total that should be acquired of each product and you also need to have to specify the profits phrases. Your scenario is further more challenging by your not possessing Chinese govt import acceptance nonetheless for any of your items. For the first cargo, even the place Net 30 phrases are conventional, most companies demand payment in advance of cargo. If you are not able to provide distinct facts in the arrangement, we will provide that the exact phrases of the first cargo will be established following import acceptance is gained. The arrangement will terminate if that order is not accomplished by some certain day.

3. You have offered us with the profits milestones you want for your China distributor. This is generally a superior strategy in a unique distributor arrangement but much more detail is important, which includes the following:

a. You have talked about milestones for only just one of your items. Will you have milestones for your other items as effectively? If sure, when will they be recognized and in what quantities?

b. Revenue milestones for China distributors are generally set on a quarterly foundation and not damaged down by province. In formulating your profits milestones, you most likely will want to account for the fact that there is not nonetheless China govt acceptance to import your items. If you strategy to set profits milestones now for your other items we can do that as element of this arrangement.

c. You can, of course, set the profits milestones at no matter what level of specificity you need. This is a organization matter, not a lawful necessity.

The problem of profits milestone is generally a huge problem in this form of arrangement, so environment the milestones in a way that is obvious and straightforward to realize is vital.

4. When there is an unique arrangement the term/size of the arrangement becomes of important relevance. The normal technique is to provide for a term lengthy ample to give the Chinese distributor time to earn back its initiatives in endorsing your items. A a few yr term is usually the minimum, with five a long time much more widespread. Most China distributors that strategy to place in sizeable do the job to industry and provide your items will demand the distribution arrangement to automatically renew if they reach their profits milestones. The China facet will typically want a provision saying that if the parties are not able to agree on new milestones following the end of the first term, renewal will be computerized based mostly on some predetermined system. Chinese distributors that do not demand anything like this are oftentimes not arranging to do the do the job important to do well.

You point out seeking either party to be able to terminate the arrangement with 90 times recognize. Nevertheless this sort of a provision is legally suitable beneath Chinese law (which commonly is far much more liberal in what it enables in these agreements than either the EU or the United States), this kind of provision will typically be rejected by a major distributor. Why would they do all the do the job important to get your product into China and to turn out to be effectively-identified in China only to have you shut them down for any purpose and with only a few months recognize?

5. When offering items in China, you need to have Chinese and English trademark defense for each product that will be sold. Serious distributors will insist that this sort of defense is in position. Our China trademark attorneys can deal with the acceptable China trademark registrations or you can have your distributor acquire treatment of this on your behalf as your agent. In either circumstance, you should acquire treatment of the trademark registrations as soon as feasible See China Trademarks: Sign-up Yours Just before You Do Anything Else. If your distributor usually takes treatment of this for you, you will want to make sure that the registrations are finished in your name and not in theirs.

6. Your distribution arrangement should be enforceable in the PRC. To make it enforceable we will draft it with Chinese law as the governing law, with the Chinese language as its managing language, and with enforcement is in a Chinese courtroom. For why we draft these contracts this way, examine out China Contracts that Work and China Contracts: Make Them Enforceable Or Really don’t Trouble.

7. The confidentiality arrangement you connect is not enforceable in China. See Why Your NDA is Worse Than Nothing at all for China. Rather than draft a independent arrangement, we will insert conventional China NNN (non-use, no disclosure, non-circumvention) language into the principal arrangement.

8. The ideas of “hold harmless and indemnify” are quite substantially foreign to the Chinese process and there is no productive professional insurance policy program for this kind of protection. We therefore typically provide a straightforward statement of the parties’ primary duties and liabilities. We typically provide that the distributor will be liable for destruction brought on to you by their steps in violation of the arrangement. Due to the fact your proposed China distributor is a relatively compact corporation you should presume it lacks the monetary wherewithal to deal with a big declare and you should look at securing your individual insurance policy.

9. I observe that you are anticipating your China distributor to do a truthful total of do the job prior right before there will be a circulation of items that will provide an revenue stream to your distributor to do that do the job. It appears you intend for your distributor to do this do the job at its individual cost. In that regard:

a. Have you talked about this with your distributor? Have they agreed?

b. If you are anticipating this preliminary do the job to be independent of the distributor attaining its profits milestones, the arrangement should give you the appropriate to terminate the agreement if your distributor never ever does the preliminary do the job or does an insufficient occupation at it, exclusively in your discretion. You can do this by basing termination on your distributor’s failure to satisfy an early milestone or  by delivering for a independent appropriate to terminate. We should discuss.


For much more on carrying out China distribution specials examine out the following:


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