Code of the District of Columbia

§ 36–301.01. Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words, terms, phrases, and their derivations shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) “Automotive product” means any product or item of merchandise, including any tire, battery, or similar motor vehicle accessory or part, other than motor fuels or petroleum products, which is intended to be or is capable of being used with, in, or on a motor vehicle, whether or not such product is essential for the proper operation and maintenance of a motor vehicle and whether or not such product is also suitable or is actually sold or used for non-motor vehicle purposes.

(2) “Distributor” means any person who is engaged in the business of selling, supplying, or distributing on consignment or otherwise, motor fuels or petroleum products to or through retail service stations which it owns, leases, or otherwise controls and who also maintains a marketing agreement with a retail dealer for the sale or distribution of motor fuels or petroleum products to a retail service station, whether or not such distributor owns, leases, or otherwise controls such retail service station.

(3) “Engaging in the retail sale of motor fuel” means that at least 30 per centum of the retail dealer’s gross revenue, excluding such revenue as is derived from the retail sale of petroleum products and automotive products and from the repair, maintenance, and servicing of motor vehicles, is derived from the retail sale of motor fuel.

(4) “Equipment” means any movable tangible personal property which is used in the business of operating a retail service station, other than property which is either consumed in the business, except through depreciation or amortization, or held for immediate or ultimate sale to customers. The term “equipment” also includes any motor fuel dispensing pump, lift, storage tank, machine, appliance or other similar property which was movable tangible personal property at the time such property was purchased, leased, or otherwise acquired by the operator of a retail service station, whether or not such property was subsequently attached or affixed to any real property.

(5) “Failure to renew” means any exercise of a right or power created by the marketing agreement or by law to terminate, cancel, or otherwise put an end to a marketing agreement at the expiration of its term, including the exercise of a right or power to put an end to a marketing agreement which would otherwise be extended or renewed automatically for a definite or indefinite term and any failure to extend or renew a marketing agreement which does not provide for automatic extension or renewal. The term “failure to renew” shall also include any termination or cancellation of a marketing agreement which does not specify an expiration date or term.

(6) “Goodwill” means the tendency or habit of customers to return for trade to the retail service station with which they have been previously dealing and includes, with respect to the value of a retail dealer’s goodwill, whatever value, advantage, or benefit is added to the value of a retail service station business as a result of the efforts of the retail dealer and his employees during the term or terms of a marketing agreement with the distributor, and of any preceding marketing agreements between the same parties, including, but not limited to, whatever value, advantage, or benefit is added by the reputation of the retail dealer and his employees for competence, skill, quality, ability, reliability, punctuality, personal attention, honesty, integrity, fair dealing, reasonable prices, and other attributes in providing motor fuels, petroleum products, and automotive products and in providing motor vehicle repair, maintenance, and other services, over and above the value of any inventory, equipment, real estate, and other tangible property, of a trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the distributor, or of advertising or other promotions furnished or financed, in whole or part, by the distributor, which value, advantage, or benefit can reasonably be expected to remain at the retail service station location after the departure of the retail dealer. In determining the value of a retail dealer’s goodwill, any increase in the volume of motor fuel, petroleum product, and automotive product sales, any increase in the volume of repair, maintenance, and other services provided, any increase in the number of customers, any financial or other contributions to advertising or promotions by the retail dealer, the number of years the retail dealer has operated the retail service station, and other similar factors should be taken into account in light of all other factors and circumstances.

(6A) “Jobber” means a wholesale supplier or distributor of motor fuel.

(7) “Marketing agreement” means any written agreement, or combination of agreements, including any contract, lease, franchise, or other agreement, which is entered into between a distributor and a retail dealer and pursuant to which:

(A) The distributor agrees to sell, supply, or distribute motor fuel to the retail dealer for the purpose of engaging in the retail sale of such motor fuel at a retail service station; and

(B) The retail dealer is granted the right, privilege, or authority, in addition to whatever else may be provided, to:

(i) Use any trademark owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the distributor for the purpose of engaging in the retail sale of motor fuel at a retail service station; or

(ii) Occupy a retail service station owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the distributor for the purpose of engaging in the retail sale of motor fuel.

(8) “Merchantable product” means any product which is in such a condition that it is reasonably resalable in the normal course of the operation of a retail service station business at a price normally charged for a new or unused product.

(9) “Motor fuel” means any gasoline, diesel fuel, special fuel, petroleum distillate, refined petroleum product, natural petroleum liquid product, natural gas liquified product, crude oil product, or other substance or combination of substances which is intended to be or is capable of being used for the purpose of propelling or running any internal combustion engine of a motor vehicle and which is sold or used, alone or blended or compounded with other substances, by any person for such purpose.

(10) “Person” means any natural person, firm, association, business trust, trust, estate, partnership, corporation, 2 or more persons having a common or joint interest, or other legal or commercial entity. In the case of an entity, the term “person” shall also include any other entity which is a parent company of the entity; has, directly or indirectly, 30 per centum or more voting control over the entity; manages or effectively controls the entity, other than through a contractual relationship; or is under common control with the entity. In addition, in the case of an entity, the term “person” shall also include any other entity which is a subsidiary or affiliate of the entity; over which the entity has, directly or indirectly, 30 per centum or more voting control; or which is managed or effectively controlled by the entity, other than through a contractual relationship.

(11) “Petroleum product” means any oil, crude oil, residual fuel oil, grease, lubricant, petroleum distillate, refined petroleum product, natural petroleum product, natural gas product, crude oil product, or similar product, other than motor fuels, which is intended to be or is capable of being used with, in, or on a motor vehicle, whether or not such product is essential for the proper operation and maintenance of a motor vehicle and whether or not such product is also suitable or is actually sold or used for non-motor vehicle purposes.

(12) “Refiner, producer, or manufacturer” means any person who is engaged in the business of manufacturing, producing, refining, distilling, blending, or compounding motor fuels, petroleum products, or precursors of motor fuels or petroleum products, which are ultimately sold, supplied, or distributed to retail service stations in the District of Columbia by such person or any other person, whether or not such manufacturing, producing, refining, distilling, blending, or compounding is performed by such person within the District of Columbia, or who is engaged in the business of importing motor fuels or petroleum products.

(13) “Retail dealer” means any person, other than an employee of a distributor, who owns, leases, operates, or otherwise controls a retail service station for the purpose of engaging in the retail sale of motor fuel and who also maintains a marketing agreement with a distributor.

(14) “Retail sale” means the sale of any tangible personal property to the public for any purpose other than for the resale of the property in the form in which it is sold or for the use or incorporation of the property sold as a material or part of other tangible personal property to be produced for sale by manufacturing, assembling, processing, or refining.

(15) “Retail service station” means any fixed geographic location, including the real estate and permanent improvements thereon, which is operated for the purpose of storing and selling motor fuel at retail and which has a dispensing system for delivery of motor fuel into the service tanks of motor vehicles, whether or not such location is also operated for the purposes of selling petroleum products, automotive products, or other products at retail or of repairing, maintaining, or servicing motor vehicles.

(16) “Selling, sell, or sale” means selling, offering for sale, keeping for sale, exposing for sale, advertising for sale, trafficking in, bartering, peddling, or any other transfer, exchange, or delivery in any manner or by any means other than purely gratuitously.

(17) “Trademark” means any trademark, tradename, service mark, brandname, or other identifying mark, symbol, or name, including any identifying mark, symbol, or name associated with any motor fuel.

(18) “Wholesaler” means any person, including any distributor, who is engaged in the business of selling, supplying, or distributing motor fuels or petroleum products to retail service stations in the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 19, 1977, D.C. Law 1-123, § 2, 24 DCR 2371; Apr. 8, 2005, D.C. Law 15-297, § 2(a), 52 DCR 1485.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 10-201.

1973 Ed., § 10-201.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 36-302.02 and § 47-903.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-297 added subsec. (6A).