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Protecting small and medium entrepreneurs from unfair trade

Today, big chain stores frequently compete directly with small or medium manufacturers or traders, via their own house brands. Moreover, a favorable bargaining position enables big entrepreneurs to dominate small and medium entrepreneurs and to act unfairly when signing contracts, as well as during the course of the contractual relationship. In our legal system, stipulations related to unfair trading can be found in the Trade Act, which does not differentiate between small, medium and big entrepreneurs, and consequently does not include specific stipulations on prohibiting abuse of superior bargaining power. Due to inadequate protection of small and medium entrepreneurs from unfair trading practice in national legislatures, the European Commission has issued the "Green Paper on unfair trading practices in the business to business food and non-food supply chain in Europe" in January 2015. In this paper, we analyze the acts of unfair trading in regards to small and medium entrepreneurs, and look into possibilities of legal protection in accordance with the current regulations of republic of Croatia. Finally, the paper shows the necessity of legislative intervention and modernization of our regulations on unfair trading.


Ivan Akrap    
University of Split, University Department of Professional Studies

Mirella Rodin    
Municipal court in Rijeka


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