Contracts Act 1950 [Act 136]

Part X


Appoinment and Authority of Agents

135 "Agent" and "principal"

An "agent" is a person employed to do any act for another or to represent another in dealings with third persons. The person for whom such act is done, or who is so represented, is called the "principal".

136 Who may employ agent

Any person who is of the age of majority according to the law to which he is subject, and who is of sound mind, may employ an agent.

137 Who may be an agent

As between the principal and third persons, any person may become an agent; but no person who is not of the age of majority and of sound mind can become an agent, so as to be responsible to his principal according to the provisions in that behalf herein contained.

138 Consideration not necessary

No consideration is necessary to create an agency.

139 Agent's authority may be expressed or implied

The authority of an agent may be expressed or implied.

140 Definitions of express and implied authority

An authority is said to be express when it is given by words spoken or written. An authority is said to be implied when it is to be inferred from the circumstances of the case; and things spoken or written, or the ordinary course of dealing, may be accounted circumstances of the case.


A owns a shop in Kajang, living himself in Kuala Lumpur, and visiting the shop occasionally. The shop is managed by B, and he is in the habit of ordering goods from C in the name of A for the purpose of the shop, and of paying for them out of A's funds with A's knowledge. B has an implied authority from A to order goods from C in the name of A for the purposes of the shop.

141 Extent of agent's authority

(1) An agent having an authority to do an act has authority to do every lawful thing which is necessary in order to do the act.

(2) An agent having an authority to carry on a business has authority to do every lawful thing necessary for the purpose, or usually done in the course of conducting such business.


(a) A is employed by B, residing in London, to recover at Teluk Intan a debt due to B. A may adopt any legal process necessary for the purpose of recovering the debt, and may give a valid discharge for the same.

(b) A constitutes B his agent to carry on his business of a shipbuilder. B may purchase timber and other materials, and hire workmen, for the purpose of carrying on the business.

142 Agent's authority in an emergency

An agent has authority, in an emergency, to do all such acts for the purpose of protecting his principal from loss as would be done by a person of ordinary prudence, in his own case, under similar circumstances.


(a) An agent for sale may have goods repaired if it be necessary.

(b) A consigns provisions to B at Taiping, with directions to send them immediately to C at Parit Buntar. B may sell the provisions at Taiping, if they will not bear the journey to Parit Buntar without spoiling.


143 When agent cannot delegate

An agent cannot lawfully employ another to perform acts which he has expressly or impliedly undertaken to perform personally, unless by the ordinary custom of trade a sub-agent may, or, from the nature of the agency, a sub-agent must, be employed.

144 "Sub-agent"

A "sub-agent" is a person employed by, and acting under the control of, the original agent in the business of the agency.