When person another person to at on his behalf with third party it is called agency. The person who appoints is called Principal and who is appointed is called Agent.

Classification of Agent: 

             A general classification of agents from the point of view of the extent of authority is as follows:

1.Special agents: 

            A special is one who is appointed to perform a special act or to represent his principal in some particular transaction as for example, an agent employed to sell a house or an agent employed .to bid at an auction .such an agent has a limited authority and, as soon as the act is performed, his authority comes to an end. He cannot bind his principal in any matter other than that for which he is employed. The persons who deal with him are bound to ascertain the extent of his authority.

2. General agent:

           A general agent is one who has an authority to do all acts connected with a particular trade, business, or employment. For example, the manager (general agent) of a firm has an implied authority to bind his principal by doing necessary for carrying on the business of the firm which falls within the ordinary scope of the business. Such authority of the agent is continuous until it is put an end to. if the principal by secret instructions, limits the authority of the general agent, and the agent exceeds the authority or violates the orders given to him by the principal ,the principal is bound by the agent’s acts done within the scope of his authority ,unless third parties dealing with the agent have a notice of the authority of the agent


3. Universal agent:

             A universal agent is one whose authority to act for the principal is ultimate, he has authority to bind his principal by any act which he does, provided the act (i) is legal, and (ii)is agreeable to the law of the land

        Another classification of agents from the point of view of the nature of work performed by them is as follows:


1.Commercial or mercantile agents : 

  A ‘mercantile agents ‘ according to section.2(9)of the sale of goods act, 1930  “a mercantile agent having in the customary course of business as such agent, authority either to sell goods, or to consign goods for the purpose of sale , or to buy goods or to raise money on the security of goods .” this definition does not cover all kinds of mercantile agents which are as follows:

     (1) Factor :

              A factor is mercantile agents entrusted with the possession of goods for the purpose of selling them .he has every possible discretionary authority to sell the goods. he sell the goods in his own name as an apparent owner upon such trams as he thinks fit .the price and gives a good to the purchaser.


      (2) Auctioneer:

              An auctioneer is an agent appointed by a seller to sell his goods by auction for a reward generally in the form of a commission. He is primarily the agents of the seller, but after the sale taken place, he becomes the agent of the purchaser also. He lien on the goods for his charges .he has an authority to receive the price of the goods sold. He can also sue for the price in own name.like other agents, he must be the instructions of his principal.but the principal is liable to the third parties for the acts of the auctioneer if the auctioneer acts within the scope of his apparent authority even though he disobeys instruction privately given to him.

      (3)  Broker :

              A broker is an agent who is employed to buy or sell goods on behalf another. He is employed primarily to bring about a contractual relationship between the principal and the third parties.he is not entrusted with the possession of the goods in which he deals. He cannot act or sue in his own name.and as he has no possession ,he has no right to lien.

     (4) Commission agent :

             A commission agent belongs to a some what indefinite class of agents he is employed to buy and sell goods or transact business generally for other persons receiving for his labor and troubal a money payment, called commission.

     (5) Del credere: 

         A de credere agent is one who in consideration of an extra commission, guarantees his principal that the persons with whom he enters into a contract on behalf of the principal shall perform their obligations. He occupies the position of both a guarantor and an agent


     (6) Banker:

              The relationship between banker and his customer is of debtor and creditor. But in a superadded obligation on the part of the banker of paying the debt when called upon to do so by the draft or order of the customer. To this extent, a banker is the agent of his customer.


See also




Rights and Duties of Agent

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