Apparent authority

An agent's power to act on behalf of a principal, even though not expressly or impliedly granted.  This power arises only if a third party reasonably infers, from the principal's conduct, that the principal granted such power to the agent.  The idea of apparent authority protects third parties who would otherwise incur losses if the agent's signature did not bind the principal after reasonable observers thought that it would.

See Express authority, Actual authority, Implied authority, and Inherent authority.