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Agency Operations


actual authority

specific and expressly conferred authority and power that a principal gives an agent to perform actions on the principal's behalf


person acting on behalf of a principal in an agency relationship. The principal has the right to control the agent in all decisions.

apparent authority

situation in which a reasonable third party would believe that an agent had authority to act, whether or not the agent had actual authority

express authority

authority specifically given by a principal to an agent, either in writing or verbally, for direction of actions within the agency

implied authority

agents' authority to perform acts that are reasonably necessary to accomplish the expressly stated tasks and directives of a principal


responsibility for a wrongdoing or act

operation of law

principle indicating that a party has created a right or responsibility and that existing legal principles and parameters have imposed that right or responsibility.


person or business within an agency relationship that has authority and that has the right to control an agent as they complete the assigned tasks


formal rejection of something, such as a contract, relationship in business, or agreement between parties

respondeat superior

doctrine stating that a principal may be liable to third parties for the actions, specifically the torts, of an agent if the torts were committed at the direction of and for the benefit of the principal


official cancellation of an agreement, business relationship, or contract between parties

scope of the agency agreement

boundaries of a particular agreement, such as the allowances and limits established within an agency relationship


violation of rights of an identifiable individual or business that has been wronged intentionally or by negligence. Common torts include defamation, nuisance, conversion, and negligence.

vicarious liability

doctrine that holds the controlling party, or in an agency relationship, the principal, responsible for the harms committed by another (the agent)