Due to the special status of VRP, the law imposes conditions of application.
There are conditions relating to the nature of the activity and, conditions relating to the contract
Conditions relating to the nature of the activity.
– the exercise of the profession in a constant and exclusive manner:
The profession consists in principle in the search for orders. However, it must be taken into consideration the actual activity of the employee, and not that described in the employment contract (soc October 17, 2000). As a result, an employee hired as a VRP can avail himself of this quality even if he does not have the attributions (soc 25 April 1990).
Any activity other than representation is incompatible with the statute. However, it is possible for a representative to exercise, while retaining his status, an activity jointly with his, if he does so on behalf of one of his employers (soc 17 October 1979).
– taking and transmitting orders:
this is the very object of VRP’s activity, ie prospecting for customers and taking orders.
It is necessary to differentiate the representatives of the salaried prospectors, who for their part, limit themselves to visiting customers in order to encourage them to order . (ex: medical representatives.)
Likewise, if the employee makes external sales without prospecting or taking orders, he cannot benefit from the status of sales representatives.
-the representative cannot carry out any transactions for his personal account because, in this case, he will become a merchant.
The conditions relating to the contract.
The object of the representation must be specified in the contract: it must relate to transactions for the sale or purchase of goods or to the supply of goods and services.
-the employment contract must specify the region and the category of clientele. The sector is an essential part of the contract. There can be no unilateral modification of it by the employer (soc 23 January 2001).
– the method and amount of remuneration must be specified in the employment contract.
However, there is no obligation to write (Cahiers prud’homaux n ° 7. du 01/08/1999, p129-135).
The sales representatives must hold a professional identity card.
Content of the statute
The contract between the representative and his employer is a service contract.
Their relations are governed by article L 751-1 et seq. Of the Commercial Code and by the collective agreement signed on October 3, 1975.
The employment contract creates obligations for both parties.
-the obligations of the VRP
He has the same obligations as an employee, but enjoys a certain independence.
The representative must respect the clauses of the employment contract. These can specify the organization of the rounds, the frequency of customer visits, the objectives to be achieved.
The VRP must draw up reports on these missions under the conditions provided for by the contract and by the customs of the profession.
The representative has a non-competition obligation towards his employer. In the case of multi-card representatives, case law shows that the VRP has the obligation to request authorization from his employer to conclude a new contract.
If the representative puts his employer in a position of competition with another company, he is committing serious misconduct . (Soc March 3, 1982)
-the employer’s obligations
The employer has a main obligation, the payment of wages and accessories. The salary is fixed by free agreement of the parties. It includes a fixed salary and commissions.
Most often, the system is mixed: a fixed part to which commissions are added. The representative can claim a commission when the case has been dealt with directly by him but, also when, the order is addressed directly to the head office of the company. It is considered to be the consequence of customer prospecting.
-the collective agreement
The collective agreement signed on October 3, 1975 gives additional advantages to representatives, taking into account the specificities of their profession.
It sets up for the VRP working full time on behalf of a single employer, the benefit of a minimum quarterly resource calculated according to the minimum wage (soc 11 July 2000). (Lamy social week n ° 846 of 06/30/1997, p13-14)
VRP benefit from full social protection in addition to the general social security system, to which they are affiliated as an employee (Liaisons sociales n ° 13187 of 06/30/2000, p5-98) (Soc January 20 1994).
From a fiscal point of view, an additional deduction of 30% is foreseen. It comes in addition to the 10% applicable to all employees for professional expenses and comes before the 20% reduction.