You are on page 1of 3

National University of Study and Research in Law

Ranchi

SYNOPSIS
TYPES OF AGENTS

Submitted by:
Ashwini Kumar
Semester: II B
Roll no. 495

Submitted to
Mr.Mritunjay Mayank

Agents are of several kinds. The term agent is used to describe various kinds of
activities, for instance, Lord Herschell observed in Kennnedy v De Trafford No
word is more commonly used and abused than the word agent. A person may be
spoken of as an agent and no doubt in the popular sense of the word he may be
properly said to be an agent under such circumstances as create the legal obligations
attaching to the agency that use of the word is only misleading. The types of agent
that are known to the business world are, however, fewer. These are discussed
hereafter.
TYPES OF AGENTS
Following are the types of the agent that can be appointed:
Special Agent
A special agent is one whose authority is restricted to the performance of a particular
act not being in the ordinary course of his business, trade or profession. On
completion of task, the agency terminates for instance, a polling agent. Both types
derive their authority from the terms of appointment.
Brokers
A Broker has neither possession of goods nor documents of title at the time of sale but
is engaged in making bargains or contracts. A broker is also a kind of mercantile
agent.1 He is described as a mere negotiator. However, the transaction concluded by
such an agent on behalf of the principal, nevertheless binds the principal as in the case
of Barring v. Corrie2. Produce brokers are key players in the commodity markets and
exchanges. Some act for both buyers and sellers by virtue of the custom of particular
markets.
Factors
A Factor has possession of the goods before sale. In this case, such an agent can sell
in his or her own name as a principal or in the principals name and may even pledge
the goods as security to raise money in the name of the principal. The general rule is
that handing over goods or documents of title to another does not give that person
authority to sell, so that anyone buying the goods will not acquire good title. For
instance, handing over a car to a mechanic for repair does not constitute an authority
to sell the car. Where a factor is in possession of goods or documents of title with the
consent of the owner even if that consent is later revoked but the goods or documents
are not returned, and the agent, acting in the ordinary course of business as a
mercantile agent, sells or raises money on the security of those goods, that disposition
will be valid as if he were expressly authorized by the owner of the goods to make the
same as long as the third party acts in good faith and without notice of a lack of
authorization.3
Auctioneers
An Auctioneer is a mercantile agent who is licensed by the state to sell goods and
other property by public auction. He may or may not be entrusted with possession but
1

Commercial entreprises v Madan Mohan Singh, AIR 1951 Hyd 47


(1818) 2 B & Ald 137
3
Madras v Mercantile Bank of India Ltd [1935] AC 53
2

is an agent of both parties.

A Del Credere
A Del Credere agent is a mercantile agent who in return for an extra commission
known as commission del credere, guarantees solvency of a third party with whom
the principal contracts. He undertakes to indemnify the principal if the third party fails
to pay the amount due on the contract. A del credere agency is a contract of
indemnity. The agent may or may not be entitled with possession or documents of
title.4
An exporter, who is uncertain about the financial status of a foreign buyer, might find
such a guarantee attractive, although the modern tendency is to obtain a confirmation
from a confirming house or to rely either on a documentary credit, under which a
bank pays the seller on the presentation of certain documents or on credit guarantees,
which provide that in the event of the buyer failing to pay the guarantor will be liable.
Estate Agent
An estate agent is engaged in real estate transactions. In real estate brokerage, the
buyers or sellers are the principles themselves and the broker or his salesperson that
represents each principal is his agent.
Ship Captain
A Ship Captain or Master is a mercantile agent with powers over a ship and its cargo
and in case of necessity becomes an agent of necessity.

Gabriel & Sons v Churchill & Sim [1914] 3 ER 1272