In simple words an agent refers to a person whose duty it is to conduct activities on behalf of a firm or another individual . Section 182 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 defines an agent as “a person employed to do any act for other, or to represent another in dealings with third persons.”
Agents can be classified in various ways according to the point of view that is adopted. From the viewpoint of the authority the agent have, they can be classified as special agents, general agents and universal agents. They can also classified as mercantile or commercial agents or non-mercantile or non-commercial agents. There different various types of kind agents are as follows :
Sub-agency refers to an agent’s delegation of authority to a person whome he appoints and that person is known as a sub-agent. Section 191 of the Indian Contract Act 1872 defines sub-agent as “a person employed by, and acting under the control of, the original agent in the business of the agency.” Thus it becomes important to understand the relation of the sub-agent to the original agent is, as between themselves, that of the agent and the principal.
But section 190 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 clearly states that an agent cannot lawfully employ another person to perform acts that he has expressly or impliedly undertaken to personally perform. But this section clearly give some exceptions that include ordinary custom of trade or, the nature of the agency .
Section 194 provides that substituted agents are not sub-agents but are in fact agents of the principal. Suppose an agent has an implied authority to name another person to act for the principal in the business of the agency, and he has named another person accordingly. In the circumstances, such a named person is not a sub-agent
Substitute agent refers to a person who is appointed by an agent by exercising their implied authority to name another person to act for the principal in the business of the agency. Such an agent is not a not a sub agent he is an agent of the principal for such part of the business of the agency as has been entrusted to him.
X directs Y, a solicitor to sell his estate by auction and to employ another auctioneer for the purpose. X names Z, an auctioneer, to conduct the sale. In such a situation, Z is not sub-agent, but is X’s agent.
Sub agent refers to a special agent is also who is appointed for specific or particular work or to represents his principal in particular transaction only. They have a finite authority, and once the task given to them is completed, so does their authority. A special agent cannot commit his principal to any action that is not specifically authorised by him. Remaining types of agents will be discussed in upcoming parts.