Universal agent – is the person authorized to carry out all business decisions on behalf of the principal. It deals with ordering warehouse assortment, issuing ordered goods to customers or signing binding trade agreements. He may have limited access to the company's bank account to settle all his obligations. This is not very common as companies are more inclined to grant special powers of attorney or general powers of attorney. Very often, such a power of attorney is granted to persons who are the real owners of the companies. This is because they do not want to belong to the management board (and therefore be responsible for the company's affairs), they want to be able to make independent decisions. In such a situation, they are granted universal agencies so that they act as a member of the board of directors, without being held responsible.
Scope of agent
A proxy is a person who has been authorized by the principal to perform the task:
- activities of ordinary management;
- a particular activity;
- activities of ordinary management and activities exceeding ordinary management.
About the possession of the title of "general agent", the person concerned performs all the above-mentioned activities.
General agent in future
With the advancing technology, it becomes possible to program complex algorithms that can handle a variety of transactions. One of them is concluding contracts or handling transactions (e. g. delivery). For the time being, people are used for such activities. However, there are also processes automating a given phenomenon. For example, a large part of the orders are processed automatically - and a person is only supposed to confirm the conformity of the order.
It's the same as signing a contract. Now it is not necessary for a person to be on the spot, but to sign a contract, e. g. sitting in a café on the other side of the globe.
All the above actions can be performed by a digitalised general agent. This means that based on the written algorithm and then machine learning, the software or hardware would get used to the behavior of the entity it represents. Then, he would do all the work that is now being done by human general agents such as, among other things:
- Representation of the client in all trading transactions;
- Conclusion and termination of contracts
- Conducting negotiations with other digitalised general agents.
Moreover, it is assumed that most of the contracts requiring the above-mentioned rights will be executed via the Internet. Mainly with the use of a distributed blockchain network, which enables the safe execution of transactions. Moreover, it is a network that makes it possible to make cash available only after the transaction is completed (to avoid the phenomenon of an agent acting without authorization).
Code of conduct
Each general agent must follow the general code of conduct. Above all, it requires that he always acts for the benefit of his principal. Also, it should not interact with persons with whom it may be referred to as a "conflict of interest".
Additionally, he should verify the scope of his authority granted by the Principal each time. Otherwise, the phenomenon of "falsus procurator" may occur, i. e. acting without authorization. However, if the power of attorney is exceeded, the general agent is liable for any damage caused to his principal and to a third party who has suffered damage through his fault.
- Surden H. 2014
- Lohn L., Schawrz P. 2012
- Yuk-fai F., Jin L. 2016
- Lohn L., Schawrz P. (2012), The regulation of proxy advosiors, Capital Markets Law Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, p.100-104
- Surden H. (2014), Machine Learning and Law, University of Colorado Law School, Colorado, Law Scholarly Commons, p.90-99
- Yuk-fai F., Jin L. (2016), Relational Contracts, Limited Liability, and Employment Dynamics, p.1-4
Author: Marta Cader