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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



agent n

1 : someone or something that acts or exerts power
: a moving force in achieving some result
2 : a person guided or instigated by another in some action [where the heads of departments are the political…s of the executive, merely to execute the will of the president "Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)"] see also innocent agent
3 a : a person or entity (as an employee or independent contractor) authorized to act on behalf of and under the control of another in dealing with third parties see also agency, fiduciary relationship, subagent compare fiduciary, principal, servant

apparent agent
: an agent acting under an agency by estoppel

bar·gain·ing agent
: a labor union that represents the employees in a bargaining unit in negotiating with their employer through collective bargaining

business agent
: an agent that handles business affairs for another person or organization
: a paid official of a union who carries on union business between the employees and the employer

collective bargaining agent
: bargaining agent in this entry

del cre·de·re agent
: an agent that guarantees to his or her principal that third parties involved in the transaction will pay or perform

exclusive agent
: an agent acting under an exclusive agency

general agent
: an agent acting under a general agency

legislative agent
: an agent (as for an interest group) that lobbies a legislature esp. professionally

managing agent
: an agent or employee of a corporation or other business entity who has a position that involves the use of judgment and discretion and who is considered under the law as capable of accepting service of process and answering questions under cross-examination on behalf of the business entity

ostensible agent
: an agent acting under an agency by estoppel

special agent
: an agent authorized to do one or more specific acts under particular instructions or within restrictions implied by the nature of the authorized acts
: an agent acting under a special agency compare general agent in this entry

transfer agent
: an officer, bank, or trust company that acts on behalf of a publicly held corporation in handling the transfer of stock and other securities and keeping records of the owners

universal agent
: an agent acting under a general agency
b : a representative of a corporation designated to accept service of process on behalf of the corporation usually as required by statute
c : a person or organization that finds buyers or tenants for real estate owners usually for a commission
d : an independent sales or service representative of an insurance company compare broker
4 a : a representative, emissary, or official of a government [a diplomatic ]
b : an employee of a government agency usually that is involved in law enforcement [seized by DEA s]

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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