agen·cy n pl -cies
1: the person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved
death by criminal agency — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
2 a: a consensual fiduciary relationship in which one party acts on behalf of and under the control of another in dealing with third parties; also: the power of one in such a relationship to act on behalf of another
◇ A principal is bound by and liable for acts of his or her agent that are within the scope of the agency.
ac·tu·al agency: the agency that exists when an agent is in fact employed by a principal see also express agency and implied agency in this entry
agency by estoppel: an agency that is not created as an actual agency by a principal and an agent but that is imposed by law when a principal acts in such a way as to lead a third party to reasonably believe that another is the principal's agent and the third party is injured by relying on and acting in accordance with that belief
◇ A principal has a duty to correct a third party's mistaken belief in an agent's authority to act on the principal's behalf. If the principal could have corrected the misunderstanding but failed to do so, he or she is estopped from denying the existence of the agency and is bound by the agent's acts in dealing with the third party.
agency cou·pled with an interest: an agency in which the agent has an interest in the property regarding which he or she is acting on the principal's behalf
ap·par·ent agency: agency by estoppel in this entry
exclusive agency: an agency common in real estate sales in which the property owner agrees to employ no agents to sell the property other than the one hired for a specified period
express agency: an actual agency created by the written or spoken words of the principal authorizing the agent to act compare implied agency in this entry
general agency: an agency in which the agent is authorized to perform on behalf of the principal in all matters in furtherance of a particular business of the principal compare special agency in this entry
implied agency: an actual agency created by acts of a principal that reasonably imply an intention to create an agency relationship compare express agency in this entry
ostensible agency: agency by estoppel in this entry
special agency: an agency in which the agent is authorized to perform only specified acts or to act only in a specified transaction compare general agency in this entry
universal agency: general agency in this entry
b: the office and function of an agent
even when granted discretion in carrying out his agency — R. C. Clark
c: the law concerned with the relationship of a principal and an agent
3: an establishment engaged in doing the business of another: as
a: an establishment authorized by an insurance company to sell insurance policies and provide services offered by the insurer
b: an establishment authorized by property owners to find a buyer for their property
◇ Many businesses that use the term agency are not truly agencies as defined in sense 2.
4: a department or other unit of government created by legislation to administer the law in a particular area of public concern – called also administrative agency; see also enabling statute, exhaustion of remedies; administrative procedure act in the important laws section
◇ When a legislature determines that government involvement is needed in a particular social activity or problem, it may write legislation creating an agency either directly or by authorizing the executive to set it up. Agencies exist at the federal, state, and local level. Most federal agencies are attached to the executive branch of government. Some agencies (such as the Environmental Protection Agency) are called an agency. An agency may, however, be called such other names as board (as the National Labor Relations Board) commission (as the Securities and Exchange Commission) administration (as the Social Security Administration), and service (as the Internal Revenue Service). Agencies at the federal level are governed by the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, which is found at title 5 of the U.S. Code.
independent agency: an agency that is not part of any of the three branches of government
regulatory agency: an agency that is authorized by the legislature to establish and enforce rules regulating its particular area of concern
— often used interchangeably with agency or administrative agency

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (commission) noun administration, authority, bureau, charge, command, committee, control, delegation, department, office associated concepts: administrative agency, governmental agency II (legal relationship) noun activity, appointment, assignment, authority, care, charge, command, commission, conduct, conduct of affairs, control, delegation, deputation, derivative authority, direction, dominion, duty, employ, employment, function, governance, handling, instrumentality, intermediation, intervention, jurisdiction, management, mandate, mission, procuracy, procuration, proxy, quest, representation, responsibility, role, service, services, superintendence, supervision, task, trust associated concepts: actual agency, agency by estoppel, agency coupled with an interest, agency of necessity, deed of agency, exclusive agency, express agency, general agency, implied agency, scope of the agency, undisclosed agency, vicarious liability foreign phrases:
- Actus me invito factus, non est meus actus. — An act done against my will is not my act
- Qui facit per alium facit per se. — He who acts through another acts himself
- Qui mandat ipse fecissi videtur. — He who orders or commands is deemed to have done the thing himself.
- Quod per me non possum, nee per alium. — What I cannot do myself, i cannot do through the agency of another.
- Vicarius non habet vicarium. — A vicar has no deputy
III index bureau, bureaucracy, committee, conduit (channel), delegation (assignment), department, expedient, facility (institution), facility (instrumentality), forum (medium), instrument (tool), medium, organ, proxy, representation (acting for others)

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

(1) A relationship in which one person, the agent, is authorized to act on behalf of the other, the principal.
(2) A department or group that performs a specific task for the government.
(3) A business that provides a specific service, often arranging transactions between customers.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

a legal arrangement (which is not a trust), utilised especially in business, under which one person acts on behalf of another. An agency may be expressly created or be implied from a course of dealing or conduct; it may be limited to a particular transaction or cover a whole course of dealing; it may be limited as to time, or not. Thus, an agent is a person appointed by another (the principal) to represent that other or to act on his behalf. Often an agent will negotiate contractual arrangements on behalf of his principal with third parties.
In the law of partnership, every partner is an agent of the firm and of his other partners for the purposes of the business of the partnership.
Under the rules of company law, directors are agents of the company for which they act, and as such the general principles of the law of agency in many respects regulate the relationship of the company and its directors.
Agents are obliged to keep proper accounts of money and assets passing through their hands in the course of their agency and to render such accounts to their principals. An agent is under a strict duty to make full disclosure of any interests he may have in the transaction he is to perform. An agency may be terminated by operation of law: (i) by the death of either party; (ii) by the insanity of either party; (iii) by the bankruptcy of either party; (iv) by frustration of the agency agreement.
Where a person signs a bill as drawer, indorser or acceptor and adds words to his signature indicating that he signs for or on behalf of a principal, he will not be personally liable thereon. However, merely designating himself as agent without intimating for whom he is signing will not be sufficient to confer this immunity.
There is a special European regime for commercial agents, which requires, among other things, that such contracts be in writing, that reasonable payment is presumed and that compensation is paid on termination.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The relationship of a person (called the agent) who acts on behalf of another person, company, or government, known as the principal. The principal is responsible for the acts of the agent, and the agent's acts bind the principal.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations
Category: Employment Law & HR → Human Resources
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Financial Powers of Attorney
Category: Wills, Trusts & Estates → Living Wills & Medical Powers of Attorney

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

A relationship under which the law recognises a person as having the power to create or alter legal rights, duties or relationships of another person, the principal. The agent facilitates contracts between the principal and a third party (the customer) by introducing the third party, soliciting orders from the third party or by concluding contracts with the third party on behalf of the principal. An agent usually benefits from the relationship by receiving a commission from the supplier. An agent does not contract with customers in his own right and he therefore generally has no liability to them.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 A fiduciary relationship in which a person or entity act, by mutual consent, for the benefit of another and bind the other party by words or deeds.
2 A governmental body with the legal authority to administer and implement specific legislation.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A consensual relationship created by contract or by law where one party, the principal, grants authority for another party, the agent, to act on behalf of and under the control of the principal to deal with a third party. An agency relationship is fiduciary in nature, and the actions and words of an agent exchanged with a third party bind the principal.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

A consensual relationship created by contract or by law where one party, the principal, grants authority for another party, the agent, to act on behalf of and under the control of the principal to deal with a third party. An agency relationship is fiduciary in nature, and the actions and words of an agent exchanged with a third party bind the principal.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   the relationship of a person (called the agent) who acts on behalf of another person, company, or government, known as the principal. "Agency" may arise when an employer (principal) and employee (agent) ask someone to make a delivery or name someone as an agent in a contract. The basic rule is that the principal becomes responsible for the acts of the agent, and the agent's acts are like those of the principal (Latin: respondeat superior). Factual questions arise such as: was the agent in the scope of employment when he/she ran down the little child, got drunk and punched someone, or sold impure wheat? There is also the problem of whether the principal acted in such a way as to make others believe someone was his agent-this is known as "apparent" or "ostensible" authority. When someone who is or is not an employee uses company business cards, finance documents, or a truck with the company logo, such use gives apparent authority as an agent.

Law dictionary. . 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Agency — Agency, MT U.S. Census Designated Place in Montana Population (2000): 324 Housing Units (2000): 90 Land area (2000): 8.577370 sq. miles (22.215286 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.007082 sq. miles (0.018342 sq. km) Total area (2000): 8.584452 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • agency — [n1] organization, often businessrelated bureau, company, department, firm, office; concepts 325,381,441 agency [n2] power, instrumentality action, activity, auspices, channel, efficiency, force, influence, instrument, instrumentality,… …   New thesaurus

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