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,

412–419, 448–451.]

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]