The commercial traveler, also called salesman or saleswoman, is charged by the employer to be the intermediary between the company and the customers or the suppliers. Sometimes he or she will directly conclude contracts with customers on behalf of the company. Sometimes he or she will only be responsible for finding customers and the company will personally conclude the contracts with the customers.
The activity of a commercial traveler is very similar to that of an agent. However, only commercial travelers are subject to the provisions relating to employment contracts. They are protected in particular against termination at an inopportune juncture.
The distinction between a commercial agency contract and a commercial traveler's contract is made on the basis of objective and substantive criteria. It is not sufficient to mention in the contract that it is a commercial agency contract in order to escape the protective norms relating to the employment contract.
The agent will only be considered as self-employed if he enjoys a certain degree of independence, both in terms of work organization and finance. If he is largely subject to the instructions of the company, the agent will be considered as a commercial traveler.
As far as social security contributions are concerned, the question is delicate. A commercial traveler will, in any case, be subject to social security. An agent, on the other hand, will only be exempt from social security if he is legally and economically independent of the company that employs him.