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An agent is a person authorized to sign legal documents especially contracts for another, often for a corporation or business. The legal authority is called agency. Firms which employ agents are often called agencies.

Expanded Definition

An officer is an a corporation official usually elected by the board of directors and authorized to sign legally binding contracts for the corporation. Most corporations have policy manuals that spell out what documents an officer of a given rank is permitted to sign, and with whose approval. Often they must be reviewed by the legal department.

Officers can authorize others to sign contracts of specified types and within specified limits. They often have the word "agent" in the title. For example, a purchasing agent or a shipping agent.

Examples of agents employed by agencies include real estate agents and insurance agents.

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