implied authority

Primary tabs

Implied authority refers to an agent's power to act on behalf of a principal without an express authorization from that principal. Implied authority is a type of actual authority

When a principal grants an agent express authority to complete a task, they also grant that agent authority to take any steps reasonably necessary for the completion of that task. For example, if a principal asks an agent to take his car to the mechanic, the agent has the implied authority to drive that car. 

Additionally, implied authority can be granted by specific titles or job positions. 

For example, an employee with the role “purchasing manager” has the implied authority to authorize purchases for the business. 

Lastly, a principal’s failure to object to an agent’s actions can give rise to implied authority to do those same actions in the future.

See also: Express authority, Actual authority, Inherent authority, and Apparent authority.

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]