On the basis of extent of authority :


  1. Specific or particular agent: Specific or particular agent is an agent who is appointed to do a single act for the principal. His authority ends after the particular act is performed.
  2. General agent: General agent is an agent who is appointed to do all or general acts concerning a particular trade or business of the principal. His authority continues until it is terminated. e.g. manager of a firm
  3. Universal agent: A universal agent is said to be one whose authority is unlimited i.e. who is authorized to do all acts which which the principal can lawfully do and delegate.



  1. Mercantile agents:
  • Broker: He brings two parties together into a contract. He is employed to find a buyer or seller. He is intermediary. He has no possession of the goods and the contract is entered into by parties directly He cannot act or sue in his own name. He has no implied power to delegate his authority.
  • Commission agent: he buys or sells the goods for the buyer or the seller and receives commission. He may or may not have possession of the goods.
  • Factor: He is entrusted with the possession of the goods with discretionary authority to sell, pledge or create any right on the goods with the third person. He sells the goods in his own name at such price as he thinks fit. He has the authority to receive the price of the goods. He has a general lien on the goods for the monies due to him.
  • Auctioneer: He has an authority to sell the goods of his principal in public auction. He has no implied authority to sell by private contrac

2.Non-Mercantile agents. They include advocates, attorneys, insurance agents etc.



Sub agent: An agent appointed by the original agent is called a sub agent. He is under the control of the original agent to the business of the agency (Sec 191).

Co-agent: When two or more persons are appointed as agents by the principal to act as such jointly or severally, they are called Co-Agents. Co-Agents should concur together in exception of their authority to bind the principal. Unless contrary is proved, they are jointly responsible. An agent who is appointed as co-agent must exercise some amount of discretion as a man of ordinary prudence would exercise in his own case. If he does this, he is not responsible to the principal for acts of negligence of the co-agent.

Substitute agents: (Secs 194 & 195) Where an agent holding an express or implied authority to name another person to act for the principal in the business of the agency, has named another person accordingly, such person is not a sub agent, but an agent of the principal for such part of the business of the agency as is entrusted to him. Such as agent is called substitute agent. A substitute agent is the agent of the principal and as much he is responsible to the principal.