Scope and authority of the agent
Scope and authority of the agent

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Scope and authority of the agent
  • Authority of agent
  • Types of authority
  • Actual authority
  • Apparent or ostensible authority
  • Limitations on agent’s authority
  • Contracts within authority
  • Contracts outside authority
  • Rights and remedies of the principal for breach of agent’s authority
  • Ratification
  • More...

This Practice Note describes the nature and degree of an agent's authority which is conferred upon it by the principal, subject to some limitations. This Practice Note considers the different types of agent’s authority, including actual, apparent and customary authority. It also considers authority granted under a power of attorney. This Practice Note considers the impact of an agent acting outside of its authority, whether the actions of an agent acting outside of its authority are binding on the principal and what remedies are available to a principal when an agent acts outside of its authority.

Authority of agent

An agent's authority is conferred by its principal. The scope of authority granted to agents by principals in business matters is usually a combination of all or some of the following: to introduce, conclude, or otherwise deal with contracts between the principal and customers. An agent does not necessarily have authority to bind a principal in contractual relations; this will depend on the nature of the agent’s appointment and the authority that the principal grants to the agent. Where such authority exists, the agent will have the power to bind the principal to contract. Where such authority is absent, or the relevant act is outside the scope of the relevant authority, the contract will not be binding upon the principal.

Authority may be general, or limited to particular matters.

No particular

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