agency – a fiduciary relationship which arises when one person (a principal) manifests assent to another (an agent) that the agent will act on the principal’s behalf, subject to the principal’s control, and. the agent manifests assent or otherwise consents to do so

     This page is continued from Person >>>> Party >>>> Artificial Person:



1. A relationship that arises when one person (a principal) manifests assent to another (an agent) that the agent will act on the principal’s behalf, subject to the principal’s control, and. the agent manifests assent or otherwise consents to do so.  *  An agent’s actions have legal consequences for the principal when the agent acts within the scope of the a rent’s actual authority or with apparent authority, or the principal later ratifies the agent’s action. — aka common law agency.  See AUTHORITY (1). [1]

1. A fiduciary relationship by which a person confides to another the management of some business to be transacted int he former’s name or on his account, and by which such other person assumes to do the business and render an account of it.
     In the legal sense, the term always imports commercial or contractual dealings between two parties by and through the medium of another. 3 Am J2d Ag § 1. [2]

1. A relationship in which one person acts for or on behalf of another person at the other person’s request. [3]

     Excerpt from Harold Gill Reuschlein & William A. Gregory, The Law of Agency and Partnership 5 1, at 3 (2d ed. 1990):

     “The basic theory of the agency device is to enable a person, through the services of another, to broaden the scope of his activities and receive the product of another’s efforts, paying such other for what he does but retaining for himself any net benefit resulting from the work performed. [4]

Various Types of Agencies:

actual agency (1835) An agency, whether created expressly or impliedly, in which the agent is in fact authorized to act on behalf of the principal.

agency by estoppel (1864) An agency created by operation of law when a person’s actions have led a third party reasonably to believe that another actor was actually the person’s agent. — aka apparent agency; ostensible agency; agency by operation of law.

agency by necessity (18c) A doctrine, especially in English law, that confers authority to act for the benefit of another in an emergency without having obtained the latter’s express consent; the relation between the person who so acts and the one to whom the benefit accrues.  *  This is a quasi-contractual relation formed by the operation of legal rules and not by the agreement of the parties. — aka agency from necessity; agency of necessity.  See NEGOTIORUM GESTIO.

     Excerpt from F.M.B. Reynolds’ Bowstead & Reynolds on Agency (18th ed. 2006):

     “The two traditional cases from which the concept of agency by necessity derives are those of the shipmaster, who has wide powers to bind by contract his owner, and also sometimes the cargo owners, in situations of emergency; and the person who accepts a bill of exchange for honour and succeeds to the rights of the holder against the person for whom he accepts . . . . The dissimilarity between these two cases is enough to indicate immediately that a category comprising both of them is unlikely to be a satisfactory one. [5]

agency by operation of law (1858) 1. An agency that arises under circumstances specified by law without mutual consent between the principal and the agent having been manifested.  *  For example, in most states the secretary of state is designated as the agent for service of process for those carrying on specified activities within that state.  See statutory agent under AGENT.  2. See agency by estoppel.  Cf. common-law agency.

agency coupled with an interest (1844) A relationship in which one party holds an irrevocable power to take action on behalf of another to protect a legal or equitable title or to secure performance of a duty apart from any duty owed to the holder by the grantor of the power.  *  An agency coupled with an interest is not an example of common-law agency because it is irrevocable by the grantor and because the relationship between holder and grantor is not a fiduciary relationship.
See irrevocable proxy under PROXY; power coupled with an interest
under POWER (3).

agency in fact (1824) An agency created voluntarily, as by a contract.  *  Agency in fact is distinguishable from an agency relationship crented by law, such as agency by estoppel.

clearing agency See clearing agent under AGENT.

common law agency – A fiduciary relationship of agency created by express or implied mutual consent manifested by both the principal and the agent, in which the agent is subject in some degree to the principal’s control.  Cf. agency by operation of law.

exclusive agency (1805) The right to represent a principal — especially either to sell the principal’s products or to act as the seller’s real-estate agent — within a particular market free from competition.  *  Strictly speaking, an exclusive agency merely excludes all other brokers, but not the owner, from selling the products or property. — aka exclusive agency to sell; exclusive franchise; sole selling agency.  Cf. EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF SALE.

     Excerpt from 3 Am. Jur. 2d Agency 5 268, at 768 (1986):

     “Contracts involving the element of exclusive agency generally fall into three classes:

(1) where the contract does not prevent the principal from making direct sales but deprives him of the right to appoint other agents;
(2) where the agent is the only one with any right to sell; and
(3) where the exclusive agency is accompanied with a stipulated right to commissions on all sales whether made through the agent or not.

express agency (18c) An actual agency arising from the principal’s written or oral authorization of a person to act as the principal’s agent.  Cf. implied agency.

financing agency (1927) A bank, finance company, or other entity that in the ordinary course of business (1) makes advances against goods or documents of title, or (2) by arrangement with either the seller or the buyer intervenes to make or collect payment due or claimed under a contract for sale, as by purchasing or paying the seller’s draft, making advances against it, or taking it for collection, regardless of whether documents of title accompany the raft. UCC § 2-104(2).

general agency (18c) A principal’s delegation to an agent, without restriction, to take any action connected with a particular trade, business, or employment,  *  The archetypal general agent manages a business, has authority to conduct a series of transactions, and serves the principal on an ongoing basis. — aka universal agency. Cf. special agency.

implied agency (18c) An actual agency arising from conduct by the principle that implies an intention to create an agency relationship.  Cf. express agency.

presentment agency (1983) Criminal law. In some jurisdictions, a state agency that conducts juvenile-delinquency prosecutions. — aka presentment office.

special agency (1808) An agency in which the agent is authorized only to conduct a single transaction or a series of transactions not involving continuous service.  Cf. special agency.

undisclosed agency (1871) An agency relationship in which an agent deals with a third party who has no knowledge that the agent is acting on a principal’s behalf.  *  The fact that the agency is undisclosed does not prohibit the third party from seeking redress from the principal or the agent. [1]

     See administrative agency; exclusive agency. [2]
     See actual agency; exclusive agency; implied agency; intervening agency; ostensible agency. [3]

(additional definitions)

2. An agent’s place of business.

administrative agency – a single officer, board, bureau, commission, office, or department of the executive branch of government, with the authority to implement and administer particular legislation. — aka (in sense 3) government agency; agency; public agency; regulatory agency.

  • administrative law – governs the organization and operation of (executive and independent) administrative agencies, and their relations to legislature, executive, the judiciary, and the public.
  • commercial agency See CREDIT BUREAU.
  • federal agency (1859) A department or other instruv mentality of the executive branch of the federal government, including a government corporation an the Government Printing Office.  *  The Administrative Procedure Act defines the term agency negatively as being any US. governmental authority that does not include Congress, the courts, the government of the District of Columbia, the government of any territory or possession, courts-martial, or military authority. 5 USCA § 551.  The caselaw on this definition focuses on authority: generally, an entity is an agency if it has authority to take binding action.  Other federal statutes define agency to include any executive department, government corporation, government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch, or federal regulatory board.
  • independent agency (1902) A federal agency, commission, or board that is not under the direction of the executive, such as the Federal Trade Commission or the National Labor Relations Board. Also termed independent regulatory agency; independent regulatory commission.
  • local agency (1842) A political subdivision of a state.  *  Local agencies include counties, cities, school districts, etc.
  • quasi-governmental agency (1904) A government-sponsored enterprise or corporation (sometimes called a government-controlled corporation), such as the Federal National Mortgage Corporation.
  • state agency (1875) An executive or regulatory body of a state.  *  State agencies include state offices, departments, divisions, bureaus, boards, and commissions. — aka state body.

agency action:
n. (1946)

1. Administrative law. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, any conduct that includes the whole or a part of an agency rule, order, license, sanction, relief, or the equivalent, or else the denial of it or the agency’s failure to act. 5 USCA § 551; see Lujan v. Nat’l Wildlife Found, 497 US. 871, 890, 110 S.Ct. 3177, 3189 (1990).

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry – An agency in the US. Department of Health and Human Services responsible for evaluating the impact on public health of the release of hazardous substances into the environment, for maintaining a registry of contaminated waste sites, and for conducting research on the effects of hazardous substances on human health. — Abbr. ATSDR.

agency head (1901) The chief of a governmental department or of a public-service institution.

agency jurisdiction See JURISDICTION.

agency records (1966) Under the Freedom of Information Act, documents that are created or obtained by a government agency, and that are in the agency’s control at the time the information request is made. 5 USCA § 552; United States Dept of Justice v. Tax Analysts, 492 U.S. 136, 109 S.Ct. 2841 (1989).

agency regulation See REGULATION (3).

agency security See government security under SECURITY (4).

agency shop See SHOP.

agency-shop membership See FINANCIAL-CORE MEMBERSHIP.


Disclaimer: All material throughout this website is compiled in accordance with Fair Use.

[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6

[2]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[3]:  Ballantine’s Law Dictionary Legal Assistant Edition
by Jack Ballantine 
(James Arthur 1871-1949).  Doctored by Jack G. Handler, J.D. © 1994 Delmar by Thomson Learning.  ISBN 0-8273-4874-6.

[4]: Harold Gill Reuschlein & William A. Gregory, The Law of Agency and Partnership 5 1, at 3 (2d ed. 1990).

[5]: F.M.B. Reynolds, Bowstead & Reynolds on Agency 140 (18th ed. 2006).

[6]: 3 Am. Jur. 2d Agency 5 268, at 768 (1986).


Back to Types of Artificial Persons

Home Page

Like this website?

Please Support Our Fundraiser

or donate via PayPal:


Disclaimer: Wild Willpower does not condone the actions of Maximilian Robespierre, however the above quote is excellent!

This website is being broadcast for First Amendment purposes courtesy of

Question(s)?  Suggestion(s)?
We look forward to hearing from you!