In the world of law, an agent is described as an individual who has been employed to represent another individual in any dealings that they may have with a third party. The person being represented is referred to as the principal. The agent has several characteristics and responsibilities as well. Today, however, we are going to take a look at the different types of agents as recognized by law.
The general agent
As the name suggests, this is an agent who has been employed by the principal and trusted with the responsibility of carrying out a wide range of transactions on his behalf. The general agent might as well be the manager of business but with limited responsibilities. This agent may be an insurance agent or an agent charged with the responsibility of making purchases. The general agent is seen as having enough authority to alter any relationships that the principal may have with third parties.
The special agent
A special agent is an agent who has the responsibility to represent the principal only in certain specified cases. In simple terms, the special agent’s authority is restricted to performing a task that is not in his profession. I will give the example of a broker in real estate. This is a special agent. This agent is only supposed to find a buyer for the land. They do not have the authority to sign any contracts. Their responsibility is restricted to a particular task. The terms of appointment are what determines the authority.
Agency with interest
If the reimbursement of an agent depends on the continuity of his or her authority as an agent, then this agent is said to be an agent with interest. Let us use the example of an agent whose principal is an author. This agent gets into an agreement with a publisher in which he or she gets a certain percentage of money from the sale of the authors work. This is an agency that has been coupled with interest because the agent has an interest in the property of the principal in whatever kind of transactions.
Sometimes an agent needs to also employ other agents so that he or she is able to carry out their responsibilities conveniently. The principal may or may not have authorized the agent to appoint other agents. The agents that are appointed by another agent to represent them are known as sub-agents.