Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Implied Authority


Implied authority refers to the powers and actions an agent or representative can carry out on behalf of a principal, without express permission, but are considered necessary to fulfill their duties. It is assumed based on the position the agent holds and the circumstances involved. This type of authority allows agents to make decisions and perform tasks in the best interest of the principal, given that these actions fall within the scope of their job responsibilities.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Implied Authority” is:ɪmˈplaɪd əˈθɔrɪti

Key Takeaways

  1. Implied Authority is a type of authority that is not explicitly stated, but it is considered to be a natural and necessary extension of the agent’s express authority, allowing the agent to perform tasks or make decisions on behalf of the principal.
  2. Implied Authority can arise from a person’s job title, past conduct, or the circumstances surrounding the agent-principal relationship. It serves to ensure the smooth and efficient execution of the principal’s instructions or transactions.
  3. Implied Authority can create legal liability for the principal if the agent acts within the scope of their implied authority and the actions result in damages or loss to a third party. Therefore, principals should establish clear and concise guidelines for the actions of their agents to minimize potential liability risks.


Implied Authority is an important concept in business and finance because it acknowledges the unwritten or unspoken power that an agent or employee may possess while representing a company or principal in certain transactions. This type of authority allows for the smooth functioning of a business by enabling individuals to make decisions and take actions in the best interest of the company, even without explicit permission. Recognizing implied authority helps to maintain trust between employers and employees, ensures seamless operations, reduces legal disputes, and supports the efficient execution of business dealings. Implied authority not only promotes flexibility and responsiveness among employees but also holds them accountable for their actions within the scope of their roles and responsibilities.


Implied authority serves a crucial purpose in the realm of business and finance by facilitating a smooth conduct of business operations. It essentially allows agents, employees, or representatives to take necessary actions which, although not expressly authorized, are considered to be within the scope of their job responsibilities. The existence of implied authority enables individuals to act on behalf of the organization in situations where doing so is essential for the execution of day-to-day tasks, and its proper functioning, without the constant need for explicit authorization from higher-ups or management. This not only instills efficiency into business workflows but also empowers employees to make decisions confidently, for the benefit of the organization.

It is important to note, however, that the scope of implied authority varies across different roles and industries. Factors such as job responsibilities, position, the structure of the organization, level of supervision, and the industry’s regulations all contribute to determining the extent of implied authority granted to a specific role. It is crucial for employees to understand the boundaries of their implied authority, as actions taken beyond this may lead to liabilities for both the organization and the individual. On the other hand, businesses must also be diligent in ensuring that the concept of implied authority aligns with their organizational goals and values while balancing it with the need for accountability and oversight. Ultimately, implied authority fosters a collaborative and autonomous working environment in which businesses can accelerate growth and achieve success.


Implied authority refers to the power or authority that a person or organization has in a particular situation, without it being explicitly stated or granted. It can result from the nature of the relationship, past practices, or expectations from both parties. Here are three real-world examples:

1. Employee Expense Reimbursements: In many companies, employees are given implied authority to spend company money on certain expenses, such as travel, meals, or office supplies, without needing advance approval from a higher-up. This is based on the understanding that these expenses are necessary for performing their job duties, and because the employee acts in good faith, the company reimburses them.

2. Hiring Decisions by Managers: A manager often has the implied authority to make hiring decisions within their department. While they may not have express permission from the company’s executive leadership, their role as a manager implies that they have the power and discretion to determine who will work directly under them. This authority typically stems from the need to build and manage their team effectively to achieve business objectives.

3. Contract Negotiation by Sales Representatives: In many businesses, sales representatives are granted implied authority to negotiate contract terms, such as pricing or payment schedules, within certain limits. They don’t need to seek explicit approval for every change they make, which allows them to act quickly and respond to prospective clients’ concerns efficiently. This implied authority is granted by the company based on the representative’s role and the expectation that they will negotiate in the best interest of the company.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Implied Authority?

Implied Authority refers to the authority granted to an agent or employee by his or her actions or conduct which, although not expressly granted by the principal, gives the appearance of being authorized, thus leading others to reasonably believe that the agent has this authority.

How does Implied Authority differ from Express Authority?

Express Authority is explicitly provided, usually through written or verbal means, while Implied Authority is derived from the agent’s actions or conduct, and it is not explicitly stated.

Can you provide an example of Implied Authority?

Sure. Consider a manager at a retail store. His express authority may include the power to hire and fire employees, set work schedules, and make decisions related to the store’s operations. Implied Authority may come into play when the manager negotiates discounts or deals with suppliers, even if those actions aren’t explicitly stated in his job description. Suppliers would reasonably assume that the manager has the authority to negotiate such terms on behalf of the company.

How can a principal limit the Implied Authority of an agent?

Clear and specific guidelines can help limit the extent of an agent’s Implied Authority. Thorough communication of roles, responsibilities, and boundaries is essential for avoiding unwanted actions by the agent, which may result in liabilities for the principal.

Can a principal be held liable for the actions of an agent acting under Implied Authority?

Yes, because Implied Authority is based on the reasonable assumptions made by others, a principal can be held liable for the agent’s actions under Implied Authority.

Does Implied Authority extend to all actions an agent takes?

No, Implied Authority is limited to the actions which are considered necessary for the agent to carry out their expressed duties. Actions that are not relevant or are outside the scope of their duties will not be considered an exercise of Implied Authority.

Can the concept of Implied Authority apply to both businesses and individuals?

Yes, Implied Authority is applicable to various relationships, including employer-employee, business partnerships, and other situations where an agent is given the power to act on behalf of a principal.

Related Finance Terms

  • Agency Relationship
  • Apparent Authority
  • Express Authority
  • Principal-Agent Theory
  • Ratification

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More