Agent, Agency Defined and Explained

An agent performs services for another person under an express or implied agreement and who is subject to the other's control.10 min read



  1. A person who performs services for another person under an express or implied agreement and who is subject to the other's control or right to control the manner and means of performing the services. The other person is called a principal. One may be an agent without receiving compensation for services. The agency agreement may be oral or written.
  2. The person to whom a power of attorney is given. An agent has authority to act on behalf of the grantor, as specified by the grantor in a power of attorney document.



An agreement, express , or implied, by which one of the parties, called the principal, confides to the other, denominated the agent, the management of some business; to be transacted in his name, or on his account, and by which the agent assumes to do the business and to render an account of it. As a general rule, whatever a man do by himself, except in virtue of a delegated authority, he may do by an agent. Hence the maxim qui facit per alium facit per se.

When the agency is express, it is created either by deed, or in writing not by deed, or verbally without writing. When the agency is not express, it may be inferred from the relation of the parties and the nature of the employment without any proof of any express appointment.

The agency must be antecedently given, or subsequently adopted; and in the latter case there must be an act of recognition, or an acquiescence in the act of the agent, from which a recognition may be fairly implied.

Agency Dissolution

An agency may be dissolved in two ways:

  1. By the act of the principal or the agent.
  2. By operation of law.

The agency may be dissolved by the act of one of the parties. First, as a general rule, it may be laid down that the principal has a right to revoke the powers which he has given; but this is subject to some exception, of which the following are examples. When the principal has expressly stipulated that the authority shall be irrevocable, and the agent has an interest in its execution; it is to be observed, however, that although there may be an express agreement not to revoke, yet if the agent has no interest in its execution, and there is no consideration for the agreement, it will be considered a nude pact, and the authority may be revoked.

But when an authority or power is coupled with an interest, or when it is given for a valuable consideration, or when it is a part of a security, then, unless there is an express stipulation that it shall be revocable, it cannot be revoked, whether it be expressed on the face of the instrument giving the authority, that it be so, or not. The agency may be determined by the renunciation of the agent. If the renunciation be made after it has been partly executed, the agent by renouncing it, becomes liable for the damages which may thereby be sustained by his principal.