What are the different kinds of agents in the agency?
On the basis of the extent of their authority, agents may be :
A general agent is one who is employed to transact all acts which are connected with a particular business or employment, e.g., a manager of a firm. Such an agent can bind the principal by doing any act which falls within the ordinary scope of that business or employment provided the third party acts bonafide. Third parties can assume that such an agent has authority to do all that which is usual for a general agent to do in the business concerned.
A special agent is one who has authority to do some particular act or represent his principal in some particular transaction, e.g., an agent employed to sell a computer. As soon as the act is performed by the special agent, his authority comes to an end. If he does any thing outside his authority, the principal is not bound by it, and therefore, third parties should make proper inquiry as to the extent of his authority before entering into a contract with him.
A universal agent is one who has unlimited authority i.e., who is authorized to transact all acts which the principal can lawfully do and delegate. He enjoys wide powers to do all kinds of business on behalf of his principal.
From the point of view of the nature of work performed by them, agents may be:
A mercantile agent is an agent who has authority to sell goods or buy goods or raise money on the security of goods. The various kinds of mercantile agents are :
Factor: A factor is one to whom goods are entrusted for sale. He enjoys extensive powers in relation to the sale of goods so entrusted. He usually sells the goods in his own name upon such terms and conditions as he thinks fit. He may even pledge the goods.
Commission agent: A commission agent is one who buys or sells goods for his principal on the best possible terms in his Own name and who receives commission for his labor. He may or may not have possession of the goods.
Del credere agent : He is an agent who, in consideration of an extra commission, guarantees his principal that the third party with whom he enters into contracts on behalf of the principal shall pay the money on due date i.e,, if the purchaser does not pay, he will pay. Thus, he occupies the position of a surety.
Broker: He is an agent employed to purchase and sell goods on.behalf of the principal. He is not given the possession of the goods. He acts as a connecting link between the principal and the third party to bargain and if the transaction is materialized, he becomes entitled to his commission called brokerage. He makes contracts in the name of the principal.
Non-mercantile agents : These are the agents who do not deal in mercantile transactions. They include advocates, attorneys, insurance agent, wife, etc.