A preliminary way of understanding the typical features of agency relationship is to compare and contrast an agent from other functionaries and relationships which appear similar but are invariably distinct and different. Such functionaries include trustees, servants, bailees and independent contractors.


Agency and trust

Despite their similarities, A trustee differs from an agent in the following ways;

Agency and bailment

A bailee differs from an agent in the following ways:

Agents, servants and independent contractors.

The distinguishing features of an agency relationship are its representative character and derivative authority which a servant would not ordinarily have. Meanwhile an independent contractor employs his own means and skills and is independent of control and supervision of his employer.

Agency and Sale

Confusion between buyer and agent may arise in cases where the function of the agent is to act as a middleman. However, this problem must be resolved by careful examination of facts. Courts pay attention to the question of whether one party called the agent is accountable for money received by him to the other party who is the alleged principal. This became more significant in the case of Aluminium Industries Vaassen Bv V Romalpa Aluminium Ltd.

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