agency. 1. A fiduciary relationship created by express or implied contract or by law, in which
one party (the agent) may act on behalf of another party (the principal) and bind that other party
by words or actions. See AUTHORITY (1). [Cases: Principal and Agent 1. C.J.S. Agency §§ 2,
4–6, 23, 25–27, 33, 38–40, 58.]
“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.” Harold Gill Reuschlein & William A. Gregory, The Law of Agency and Partnership§
1, at 3 (2d ed. 1990).
actual agency.An agency in which the agent is in fact employed by a principal. [Cases:
Principal and Agent 96, 99. C.J.S. Agency §§ 148–149, 153–164.]
agency by estoppel.An agency created by operation of law and established by a principal’s
actions that would reasonably lead a third person to conclude that an agency exists. — Also
termed apparent agency; ostensible agency; agency by operation of law. [Cases: Principal and
Agent 25(3), 137. C.J.S. Agency §§ 61, 157, 211.]
agency by necessity.See agency of necessity.
agency by operation of law.See agency by estoppel.
agency coupled with an interest.An agency in which the agent is granted not only the power
to act on behalf of a principal but also a legal interest in the estate or property involved. • This A
type of agency is irrevocable before the interest expires, unless the parties agree otherwise when
creating the interest. The agency survives even if the principal becomes insane or dies. See power
coupled with an interest under POWER(3). [Cases: Principal and Agent 34, 43(2). C.J.S. Agency
§§ 114–119, 136.]
agency from necessity.See agency of necessity.
agency in fact.An agency created voluntarily, as by a contract. • Agency in fact is
distinguishable from an agency relationship created by law, such as agency by estoppel. [Cases:
Principal and Agent 8. C.J.S. Agency §§ 36–40.]
agency of necessity.An agency arising during an emergency that necessitates the agent’s
acting without authori-zation from the principal; the relation between a person who in exigent
circumstances acts in the interest of another without being authorized to do so. • It is a
quasi-contractual relation formed by the operation of legal rules and not by the agreement of the
parties. — Also termed agency from necessity; agency by necessity. See NEGOTIORUM
GESTIO. [Cases: Principal and Agent 14(1), 99. C.J.S. Agency §§ 20, 53, 153–164; Architects §
apparent agency.See agency by estoppel.
exclusive agency.The right to represent a principal — esp. 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. — Also termed exclusive agency to sell; exclusive
franchise; sole selling agency. Cf. EXCLUSIVE RIGHT OF SALE.
“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.” 3 Am. Jur. 2d Agency § 268, at 768 (1986).
express agency.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. [Cases: Principal and Agent 96. C.J.S.
Agency §§ 148–149.]
financing agency.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 draft. UCC §
general agency.A principal’s delegation to an agent, without restriction, to take any action
connected with a particular trade, business, or employment. — Also termed universal agency.
[Cases: Principal and Agent 93. C.J.S. Agency § 172.]
implied agency.An actual agency arising from the conduct by the principal that implies an
intention to create an agency relationship. Cf. express agency. [Cases: Principal and Agent 99.
C.J.S. Agency §§ 153–164.]
ostensible agency.See agency by estoppel.
special agency.An agency in which the agent is authorized only to conduct a single
transaction or a series of transactions not involving continuous service. [Cases: Principal and
Agent 94. C.J.S. Agency § 172.]
undisclosed agency.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.
[Cases: Principal and Agent 138–146. C.J.S. Agency §§ 166, 369–371, 385, 387–388, 393,
universal agency.See general agency.
2. An agent’s place of business. 3. A governmental body with the authority to implement and
administer particular legislation. — Also termed (in sense 3) government agency; administrative
agency; public agency; regulatory agency. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure 101. C.J.S.
Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 8.]
federal agency.A department or other instrumentality of the executive branch of the federal
government, in-cluding a government corporation and the Government Printing Office. • The
Administrative Procedure Act defines the term agency negatively as being any U.S. 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. [Cases: Administrative Law and Procedure
101; United States 30. C.J.S. Public Administrative Law and Procedure § 8; United States § 49.]
independent agency.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. [Cases: United
States 29. C.J.S. United States §§ 52, 57.]
local agency.A political subdivision of a state. • Local agencies include counties, cities,
school districts, etc.
quasi-governmental agency.A government-sponsored enterprise or corporation (sometimes
called a govern-ment-controlled corporation), such as the Federal National Mortgage Corporation.
[Cases: United States 53. C.J.S. United States §§ 83, 88–95.]
state agency.An executive or regulatory body of a state. • State agencies include state offices,
departments, divisions, bureaus, boards, and commissions. — Also termed state body. [Blacks Law 8th]