Australia agency law

Further information Introduction The appointment of someone as an agent creates an agency relationship, which means that the agent can enter into contracts on behalf of, and binding on, the person who appointed them.

Australia agency law


Concepts[ edit ] The reciprocal rights and liabilities between a principal and an agent reflect commercial and legal realities. A business owner often relies on an employee or another person to conduct a business.

In the case of a corporation, since a corporation can only act through Natural person agents.

Australia agency law

The principal is bound by the contract entered into by the agent, so long as the agent performs within the scope of the agency. A third party may rely in good faith on the representation by a person who identifies himself as an agent for another.

It is not always cost effective to check whether someone who is represented as having the authority to act for another actually has such authority.

If it is subsequently found that the alleged agent was acting without necessary authority, the agent will generally be held liable. Brief statement of legal principles[ edit ] There are three broad classes of agent: General agents hold a more limited authority to conduct a series of transactions over a continuous period of time; and Special agents are authorized to conduct either only a single transaction or a specified series of transactions over a limited period of time.

Authority[ edit ] An agent who acts within the scope of authority conferred by his or her principal binds the principal in the obligations he or she creates against third parties.

There are essentially three kinds of authority recognized in the law: Actual authority Actual authority can be of two kinds. Either the principal may have expressly conferred authority on the agent, or authority may be implied. Authority arises by consensual agreement, and whether it exists is a question of fact.

An agent, as a general rule, is only entitled to indemnity from the principal if he or she has acted within the scope of her actual authority, and may be in breach of contract, and liable to a third party for breach of the implied warranty of authority.

In tort, a claimant may not recover from the principal unless the agent is acting within the scope of employment. Express actual authority[ edit ] Express actual authority means an agent has been expressly told he or she may act on behalf of a principal.

Australia agency law

Implied actual authority[ edit ] Implied actual authority, also called "usual authority", is authority an agent has by virtue of being reasonably necessary to carry out his express authority. As such, it can be inferred by virtue of a position held by an agent.

For example, partners have authority to bind the other partners in the firm, their liability being joint and several, and in a corporation, all executives and senior employees with decision-making authority by virtue of their position have authority to bind the corporation.

Other forms of implied actual authority include customary authority. This is where customs of a trade imply the agent to have certain powers.


In wool buying industries it is customary for traders to purchase in their own names. This must be no more than necessary [4] Main articles: Apparent authority and Estoppel Apparent authority also called "ostensible authority" exists where the principal's words or conduct would lead a reasonable person in the third party's position to believe that the agent was authorized to act, even if the principal and the purported agent had never discussed such a relationship.

For example, where one person appoints a person to a position which carries with it agency-like powers, those who know of the appointment are entitled to assume that there is apparent authority to do the things ordinarily entrusted to one occupying such a position.

If a principal creates the impression that an agent is authorized but there is no actual authority, third parties are protected so long as they have acted reasonably.

This is sometimes termed "agency by estoppel " or the "doctrine of holding out", where the principal will be estopped from denying the grant of authority if third parties have changed their positions to their detriment in reliance on the representations made.

Wills J held that "the principal is liable for all the acts of the agent which are within the authority usually confided to an agent of that character, notwithstanding limitations, as between the principal and the agent, put upon that authority.Law of Agency written by G E Dal Pont aims to convey to the reader the principles surrounding agency law from an Australian perspective.

Law enforcement in Australia is one of the three major components of the country's justice system, along with courts and are law enforcement officers employed by all three levels of government – federal, state / territory, and local.

Federally, the main law enforcement agency is the Australian Federal Police (AFP), which has a wide mandate to enforce Australian criminal law.

Agency agreements – what are they and how are they used? May 8, by Dundas Lawyers. An agency created by operation of law usually arises where for some reason it is necessary for the Agent to preserve the Principal’s property or safeguard the Principal’s interests.

For this form of Agency to exist the goods or interests must be in. Agency is a legal relationship that takes a variety of forms and is common to transactions in business and commerce. At the centre of the agency relationship is a contract between the principal and the agent, by which the agent is authorised to act and undertake tasks on behalf of the principal.

Agency is a legal relationship that takes a variety of forms and is common to transactions in business and commerce. At the centre of the agency relationship is a contract between the principal and the agent, by which the agent is authorised to act and undertake tasks on behalf of the principal.

Agency law in Australia (Part One) When it comes to our personal finances, we regularly engage agents (or, at least, those who call themselves ‘agents’). When we want to sell a house, we use a real estate agent, we book our holidays with a travel agent and when we want a new job we use a recruitment agent.

Australia, Business Law Firm, Fox Williams