Classification of agents on the basis of extent of Authority
On the basis of extent of authority, the agents may be classified as Agents, General Agents and Universal Agents. They are briefly explained as follows.
1. Special Agents:
A special agents is one who is appointed to perform a special act or represent his principal in some particular transaction. He has limited authority. He has no authority to bind the principal in respect of any other act than that for which he is employed.
For instance, if a person is employed to purchase a car, the authority of such a person comes to an end as soon as he purchase a car. If he exceeds his authority, the principal is not liable for such unauthorized acts.
2. General Agents
A general agent is one who has authority to do all acts connected with a particular trade, business or employment. For instance, if a person is placed as a manager, he has authority to bind the principal for all his acts falling within the scope of the business of managing the store. Such an authority of the agent is implied provided his acts are within the limits of his apparent authority. It is immaterial if they are outside the scope of his actual authority.
Third parties are entitled to assume that the agent has authority to do all that is necessary in the course of the business, and even if the agent violates his apparent authority, his acts are binding on the principal unless third parties have notice of the curtailment of the agent’s apparent authority.
Unless the principal puts an end to the authority, it shall be assumed to be continuous.
3. Universal Agents
A universal agent is one who enjoys unlimited authority to do all such acts as could be delegated, and which the principal himself could lawfully perform. An agent of this type is usually appointed by a businessman who is still legally competent to appoint an agent, but owing to his physical condition, wants to retire by giving a blanket power of attorney to the agent to do anything that has to be done while he is in the service.