In trade, there can be several people who are involved in helping companies with delivering goods from manufacturers to their customers. Not all producers can be in a position to deliver their products directly to their final customers which is why they need facilitators in between to reach their final consumers. This whole transaction process is handled and coordinated with sheer care by a professional mercantile services agent, who acts as a representative of the business to deal with manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and finally deliver the products to customers.

Mercantile Services in Australia are now a very crucial service process that can make a major difference in business success and failure. These operating processes require extreme care and professional attention, to ensure the quick and safe delivery of goods to consumers on time smoothly without any stretch.

When the coronavirus pandemic crashed the Global trade market in 2020, many businesses were forced to break out of their dominant traditional working process to survive the sudden market shock. Working with the “New Normal”, more businesses in Australia are operating online and traders are adapting best ways to reach out to their customers. In this phase of re-birth for business trades, mercantile services play a vital role in the working process of a business from manufacturing to delivering the final product/service, which can practically ‘make or break’ a business.

This article will explore all things you need to know about mercantile services in Australia today, highlighting some of your common questions regarding Mercantile services.

What is meant by a “Mercantile Agency”?

A mercantile agency is a service provider that provides professionally trained agents or factors to different businesses [Principals]. The agent deals with people in the course of working operation on behalf of his Principal. 

The customary working course of business trade often involves several steps from manufacturing to safe and timely delivery of products to final consumers. Most of the time the majority of businesses are not in a position to handle each of these vital processes directly in person to reach out to their ultimate consumers with the finished product. In such a case, companies hire a mercantile agent to represent the business on their behalf, which may take care of the crucial operating process and handle the wholesaling, retailing and delivering process in a very effective organised manner.

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Who is a Mercantile Agent?

A mercantile agent is a middleman hired by a business to deal with other people during their work operations. Mercantile agents handle wholesalers, retailers, and other people to deliver the final product to the ultimate consumers of a business.

A mercantile agent can manage to buy, sell and take up a consignment for sales purposes on behalf of the business he/she is representing who is called, ‘Principal’. Mercantile agents have the right to represent a business and it processes services on behalf of their ‘Principal’; however, they don’t have the right to represent themselves during business process servings.

What is a Mercantile Agent in Australia?

According to the Institute of Mercantile Agents Limited [IMA], a mercantile agent in Australia is represented as a person who works for an array of businesses ranging from banks, financiers, lawyers, insurers, and other business communities.

The business that hires mercantile agents goes by the name ‘Principal’. Networking all across Australia, mercantile agents act on behalf of various,’ Principals’, promptly dealing with matters like licensing, privacy, training, judicial or non-judicial matters that affect business reputation.

Who is an Authorised Mercantile Agent?

Mercantile agents offer an array of professional services like debt collection, field services, and receivable management services depending on the demand and requirement of different ‘Principals’.

People working as authorised mercantile agents in certain states in Australia need to hold a commercial agent or private agent license /equivalent licenses that adhere to State regulations. A large portion of licensed authorised mercantile agents are members of the prestigious IMA, established in 1961.

The Institute of Mercantile Agents represents a network of repossession agents, investigators, process servers, and collectors throughout Australia. The authorised and elected members of IMA work across various zones for Principals like banks, financers, insurance companies, and other commercial and non-commercial areas of business communities.

The IMA has quality professional standards, its members and should abide by IMA’s Code of conduct and code of ethics that promotes ethical and professional standards.

What are the duties of a mercantile agent?

  • Perform duties to best
    Businesses invest and hire mercantile agents based on solid contracts. This means agents are obliged to perform all the duties and roles assigned by their Principal and deliver the best results for the business.
  • Maintain high standards of skills, attention and dedication
    The agent should be diligent with his skills, attention, and dedicate his best self to the roles he is committed to. As he is representing the Principal i.e. a business to other people in the market, the agent is expected to perform the tasks promptly with the same efficiency as the Principal performs his task.
  • Deliver accurate records of financial statements
    What does this mean? The agent held responsibly is expected to deliver clear and accurate data of financial statements and account details to the Principal. The agent should never mix his accounts with business accounts and also should share the overall financial overview of the agency with his Principal regularly.
  • Return the amount earned
    Since most of the business financial transactions pass through the agent’s hands. He is bound to return all the money earned from the business to his Principal honestly without any false games.
  • Delegation of power
    Agents act on behalf of their Principals to deal with other people in business work progress. But he doesn’t have any right to swap his authority to another person without his Principal’s consent. If the Principal instructs then the agent can authorise a sub-agent to handle his assigned duties under his responsibility and not under the Principal’s liability.

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What are the different types of mercantile services?

Mercantile services offer quality standards of debt collection, licensing, privacy management, field services for different scales of businesses.

Civic and Commercial Mercantile Services are proud authorised members of IMA (Institute of Mercantile Agents). We provide our clients with a high-quality, professional, efficient, and complete set of mercantile services covering financial and legal industries collaborating with other leading mercantile agencies across Australia and New Zealand.

Mercantile services mainly focus on the processing steps which link the business producers to their final customers. Centering on the financial and legal industries, professional Australian Mercantile agencies provide an active, efficient, and complete set of services- Process serving, Repossession, field call services, court attendance services, Skip trace services, and Government services -to varied scales of organisations across the country depending on the business situations and client needs.

Mercantile Services we provide in Australia include:

  • Repossession Services
    Repossession services refer to taking back or repossessing the property or products that have been lent to a party by the company in case the borrowers fail to make payments after the expired period of the contract.

    There are usually two types of loans under repossession services-secured and unsecured. 

    Secured loans let the borrower have the asset on grounds of collateral security along with some clauses. Where the business can take the property or motor vehicle or even sell it to another party to compensate the payment in case of failed return of payments. On the other hand, unsecured loans can be taken on personal grounds without any collateral security.

    Repossession agents in Australia act as a representative to retrieve back the payments or ‘repossession” a property, vehicle, plant, or products on behalf of their Principal. If a borrower fails to pay back a secured loan, a repossession agent can recover the item, vehicle, property, or product under that loan on behalf of their Principal.

    The role of a repossession agent in Australia can be a bit dangerous depending on the situation especially in cases where there is a cracked relationship between the lender and borrower. 

    Say, if a company hires a repossession agent to recover a car for failed loan payment within the specified period of repayment. There could be a bit of a heated situation where the borrower may get angry with the agent who goes to recover their owned favourite car to compensate for the loan payment.
  • Field Call Services
    Field call services play a prime role in establishing proper information on the ground. Under this service, there will be field agents who will be making calls to debtors on behalf of the businesses.

    The field agents [debt collection agents] will establish a friendly,non-aggression in-person interaction with the borrower who is unresponsive to collect valuable information to make the right informed decision for the business situation.

    Some of their priceless services include – identity verification, update current contact details, make a demand for debt repayment, understand the situation and reason for non-payment of debts, financial background check of the debtor, photographic enquiries, location enquiries, asset inspection, and motor vehicle accident claims for third parties.

    Most of the authorised field agents in Australia are professionally trained and licensed by an established Mercantile Agency. Repossession/Field Call agents not only help in gathering information about the debtor but can also act as a negotiator between the debtor and Principal for the repayment process.

    Civic and Commercial Mercantile agents are very much familiar and well-versed to handle such situations. Our expert agents can assist you in confirming an individual’s identity, homes, business, pre-lockout property, insurance, and other detailed services of this field most effectively.
  •  Court Attendance Services
    Court attendance services are processes where qualified professional agents represent a business for a court hearing or lodge court documents making the whole process easier on the client side.

    The professional agents can take a witness, present documents, or file legal documents on behalf of various ranges of companies presenting the evidence and required documents in front of the court. They can also attend court hearings representing their clients in all ranges of court systems under the state and country provinces.

    In Australia, most authorised professional mercantile agencies of IMA are equipped with trained and experienced agents who have the skilled ability to present court documents or attend court examinations for businesses across all province systems of ACT and NSW. [Exceptions and conditions can be applied based on different agency policies]

    Civic and Commercial Mercantile services are trained and experienced to represent legal and financial industry-based clients of various scales small to big in both ACT and NSW court systems. We not only provide assistance with court representation for hearing examinations but also lodge our client’s legal documents with ACT Supreme, Magistrates, Family Courts, and ACAT, saving the stress of long wait and stress of personal attendance for clients.
  • Skip Trace Services
    Skip tracing as the name suggests refers to the process of tracing or tracking down a debtor or person who is unresponsive for quite a long while and may have “skipped” or left the town.

    Skip tracers are commonly hired by debt collector agents to track down a debtor who has not attended emails, calls, or any kind of contact regarding debt repayments. Sometimes even with all the contact addresses filled in on the form, there are good chances where the borrower no longer lives there or in some cases has provided a false address.

    Apart from debt collectors and financial companies, skip tracing services are also widely used by journalists, bondsmen, investigators, and lawyers depending on business situations.
  • Real Estate Lockouts
    Real estate lockouts indicate restricting or securing property on behalf of a client in case of unsettled payments or loans after the lockout period depending on the business situations.

    With amicable coordination with the local authorities, an authorised agent ensures the possession process here is smooth and stress-free for clients. They provide their Principals with key services like professional service attendance, digital photographic evidence, and full reporting of the situation for the organisation.

    Apart from the basic services covered most of the professional agencies are also equipped with experienced locksmiths who can effectively handle the new lock management system for the property secured.
  • Government Services
    An authorised Mercantile agency in Australia covers various ranges of government services including, process serving, delivering province documents, and other efficient and professional legal and financial documentation solutions depending on the state and national Government business situations.

    Some major areas of government services collections for solicitors include licensing, traffic fees, city and country entities zone, country healthcare facilities, and various ranges of administration documents.
  • Process Serving
    A process server plays the role of an agent who takes care of all legal and court activities on behalf of their clients. They make sure all the legally involved documents such as subpoenas, summons, or restraining orders are hand delivered by offering an array of tasks ranging from filing court papers, serving legal documents, and retrieval of document processes. 

    After serving a legal document of any kind, a process server should provide legal evidence in the form of an affidavit of service to the client for presenting the documents in court. This verification from the process server’s side is often referred to as “affidavit of service” or “proof of service” must be attested and given to the clients.

    The process servers are skilled agents who have deft knowledge about legal practices and procedures. They will also research about the defendants and case situations to file and serve papers adhering to the laid standards of the respective state province.

    The processing laws differ from state to state, a process server should be aware of the field updates and state standards to serve the right legal documents in the current correct location for the client.

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Mercantile Services – Summary

With over 20 years of field experience and an amicable network across the country, Civic and Commercial Mercantile agents are one of the most preferred mercantile agencies in Australia by an array of leading businesses in the country.

We promptly, professionally, and effectively handle documents that need to be served within a timely manner by obtaining maximum needed information by interviewing occupants or neighbours to submit the documents on time or process an equivalent substitute if needed without any stress or wait.

Mercantile services and commercial debit recollection are two prime pillars of operations that have the potential for a business’s success or failure. These critical areas need to be handled professionally and effectively. Civic and Commercial Mercantile Services are locally based but with our deft experience in the field, backed by in-house trained agents and an amiable trade network. We have earned the trust and confidence of various companies and businesses of all sizes across Australia and New Zealand.

We are proud members of IMA and are always happy to hear and discuss any chance to discuss our services with your business.

Contact us to take advantage of our expert mercantile services today!

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