Ostensible Agent Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Ostensible Agent, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Ostensible Agent?

It refers to someone who has been allowed by the company or person to act and behave like an agent to the other. The ostensible agent is provideded with knowingly all support so as to make the third party believe that he or she is a party of the company like stationery, visiting card , desk, etc.

History and Meaning of Ostensible Agent

An ostensible agent refers to a person who appears to be an authorized agent or representative of a business or individual. This means that the person may not have been officially appointed as an agent, but is allowed to act like one by the business or individual. The ostensible agent is sometimes referred to as an apparent agent because the third party dealing with the agent perceives them to have the authority to act on behalf of the business or individual.

In legal terms, the doctrine of ostensible agency is used in cases where the third party has relied on the ostensible agent's authority to do business with the business or individual. This can create a binding legal relationship between the business or individual and the third party, even if the ostensible agent did not have actual authority to act on behalf of the business or individual.

Examples of Ostensible Agent

  1. A salesperson at a car dealership who is allowed to negotiate and finalize deals with customers, even though they are not the official agent of the dealership.
  2. A contractor who hires subcontractors to complete work on a construction project, but appears to the owner of the project to be the official representative of the contractor.
  3. A person who uses a company email address and business cards to communicate with clients, and is allowed to make decisions on behalf of the company, even though they are not an official employee.

Legal Terms Similar to Ostensible Agent

  1. Actual Authority: This refers to an agent who has been officially authorized to act on behalf of a business or individual.
  2. Express Authority: This is specific authorization given to an agent by a business or individual, either in writing or verbally.
  3. Implied Authority: This refers to the authority that an agent is assumed to have based on their position or relationship with a business or individual.