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10.1The Agency Relationship LO 10.1 Describe the agency relationship The function of an agent is to represent and act on behalf of a principal in dealings with third parties. The term agency refers to the service an agent performs on behalf of the principal. This service may be performed as an employee, as an independent agent, or gratuitously. When an agent is acting independently, the business performing the service is often called an agency, such as a travel agency, employment agency, or real estate agency. Most of these specialized agencies are fulfilling a service function and many are governed by special statutes and professional organizations. This includes real estate agencies, law firms, and accounting firms. The boards and commissions governing these businesses and professions provide licences, training, insurance, and other services to their members. They also hear complaints and provide discipline when misconduct occurs. Although by far the
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