Spain – Can an influencer be considered a “commercial agent”?

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Time to read: 7 min

Commercial agents have specific regulations with rights and obligations that are “mandatory”: those who sign an agency contract cannot derogate from them. Answering whether an influencer can be an agent is essential because, if he or she is an agent, the agent regulations will apply to him or her.

Let’s take it one step at a time. The influencer we will talk about is the person who, with their actions and comments (blogs, social media accounts, videos, events, or a bit of everything), talks to their followers about the advantages of certain products or services identified with a certain third-party brand. In exchange for this, the influencer is paid.[1]

A commercial agent is someone who promotes the contracting of others’ products or services, does so in a stable way, and gets paid in return. He or she can also conclude the contract, but this is not essential.

The law imposes certain obligations and guarantees rights to those signing an agency contract. If the influencer is considered an “agent”, he or she should also have them. And there are several of them: for example, the duration, the notice to be given to terminate the contract, the obligations of the parties… And the most relevant, the right of the agent to receive compensation at the end of the relationship for the clientele that has been generated. If an influencer is an agent, he would also have this right.

How can an influencer be assessed as an agent? For that we must analyse two things: (a) the contract (and be careful because there is a contract, even if it is not written) and (b) how the parties have behaved.

The elements that, in my opinion, are most relevant to conclude that an influencer is an agent would be the following:


a) the influencer promotes the contracting of services or the purchase of products and does so independently.

The contract will indicate what the influencer must do. It will be clearer to consider him as an agent if his comments encourage contracting: for example, if they include a link to the manufacturer’s website, if he offers a discount code, if he allows orders to be placed with him. And if he does so as an independent “professional”, and not as an employee (with a timetable, means, instructions).

It may be more difficult to consider him as an agent if he limits himself to talking about the benefits of the product or service, appearing in advertising as a brand image, and using a certain product, and speaking well of it. The important thing, in my opinion, is to examine whether the influencer’s activity is aimed at getting people to buy the product he or she is talking about, or whether what he or she is doing is more generic persuasion (appearing in advertising, lending his or her image to a product, carrying out demonstrations of its use), or even whether he or she is only seeking to promote himself or herself as a vehicle for general information (for example, influencers who make comparisons of products without trying to get people to buy one or the other). In the first case (trying to get people to buy the product) it would be easier to consider it as an “agent”, and less so in the other examples.


b) this “promotion” is done in a continuous or stable manner.

Be careful because this continuity or stability does not mean that the contract has to be of indefinite duration. Rather, it is the opposite of a sporadic relationship. A one-year contract may be sufficient, while several unconnected interventions, even if they last longer, may not be sufficient.

In this case, influencers who make occasional comments, who intervene with isolated actions, who limit themselves to making comparisons without promoting the purchase of one or the other, and even if all this leads to sales, even if their comments are frequent and even if they can have a great influence on the behavior of their followers, would be excluded as agents.


c) they receive remuneration for their activity.

An influencer who is remunerated based on sales (e.g., by promoting a discount code, a specific link, or referring to your website for orders) can more easily be considered as an agent. But also, if he or she only receives a fixed amount for their promotion. On the other hand, influencers who do not receive any remuneration from the brand (e.g. someone who talks about the benefits of a product in comparison with others, but without linking it to its promotion) would be excluded.



The borderline between what qualifies an influencer as an agent and what does not can be very thin, especially because contracts are often not unambiguous and sometimes their services are multiple. The most important thing is to carefully analyse the contract and the parties’ behaviour.

An influencer could be considered a commercial agent to the extent that his or her activity promotes the contracting of the product (not simply if he or she carries out informative or image work), that it is done on a stable basis (and not merely anecdotal or sporadic) and in exchange for remuneration.

To assess the specific situation, it is essential to analyse the contract (if it is written, this is easier) and the parties’ behaviour.

In short, to draw up a contract with an influencer or, if it has already been signed, but you want to conclude it, you will have to pay attention to these elements. As an influencer you may have a strong interest in being considered an agent at the end of the contract and thus be entitled to compensation, while as employer you will prefer the opposite.

FINAL NOTE. In Spain and at the date of this comment (9 June 2024) I am not aware of any judgement dealing with this issue. My proposal is based on my experience of more than 30 years advising and litigating on agency contracts. On the other hand, and as far as I know, there is at least one judgment in Rome (Italy) dealing with the matter: Tribunale di Roma; Sezione Lavoro 4º, St. 2615 of 4 March 2024; R. G. n. 38445/2022.

Ignacio Alonso
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