Q. What is the difference between a distributor and an agent?
A. A distributor is a person or company which buys products from you and then resells them to customers or sub-distributors. You have no direct relationship with the end user - only with the distributor. And the financial risk for unsold products rests with the distributor, not with you. In essence, your distributor is your customer.
An agent, on the other hand, contracts with you and is acting on your behalf, not on its own. Your agent will have whatever authority to act in that capacity that you decide is appropriate, such as the authority to negotiate contracts, arrange sales or leases, market and promote your products. But any sale or lease contract will be between you and the customer, and the agent will not be a party to the contract.
Q. Is a dealer the same as a distributor?
A. They're similar but not the same. A dealer sells the supplier's products through a retail outlet, and may obtain the products either from the supplier directly or from a distributor. Dealers are often franchisees of the supplier.