What Is The Meaning Of Agency In Philosophy And Law

Agency is the relationship between two or more persons by which one (the principal) consents that the other (the agent) or others shall act on his behalf. The law distinguishes between kinds of agents and kinds Of principals. A general agent is a person authorized to conduct a series Of transactions with continuity of service; a special agent is one authorized to conduct a single transaction; an apparent agent is a person who, although not really authorized to act as an agent for another, seems to third persons to have that authority: a subagent is a person employed by an agent to assist him in conducting the affairs of his principal.

A principal may be disclosed, partially disclosed or undisclosed. A disclosed principal exists in a transaction when the third party is notified of the identity of the principal for whom the agent is acting; a patially disclosed principal exists when the third party is notified that an agent may be acting for a principal but without identifying the principal; an undisclosed principal exists when the third party is not informed that the agent is acting for a principal.

The law also distinguishes between agents and Servants and agents and independent contractors, as well as trustees. A servant is a person employed to perform services for another. a master, who himself controls the conduct of these services. An independent contractor is a per- son who contracts with another to perform work but who is not con- trolled by the principal in the methods of performing it.


There is no particular way in which an agency must be created; on the one hand, an agency may be created by an express formal contract, such as in conferring a power of attorney. It may be spelled out from the dealings of the principal and agent over a period of time. An agency also may be formed when the principal appoints the agent and the agent accepts the appointment. Although no writing is’ necessary to establish an agency, and verbal authorizations to an agent are generally good, the Statute of Frauds requires written authorizations to sell real estate or to enter into certain other types of contracts.


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