Management Notes

Reference Notes for Management

Difference between Agent and Servant – Agent Vs Servant| Agency

Difference between Agent and Servant

A servant works directly under the supervision and control of his employer. Agents are commanded by ‘principals’ regarding what should be done, but a master or employer can not only direct what should be done, but also how it should be done. An agent usually works for more than one principal at the same time, while a servant usually serves only one master. The remuneration is usually different. Employees receive remuneration in the form of salary or wages, whereas agents typically receive commissions based on the amount of business they conduct.

Occasionally, the duties of an agent may be assigned to a servant, and the servant may act as an agent. When it comes to matters under his/her domain, however, the secretary becomes an agent in their dealings with third parties, even though he/she is regarded as the company’s servant. Agents as such do not resemble servants because they always act on behalf of their principals and bind them to third parties. An agent who acts within the scope of authority of the principal is liable for the contract. The master however remains liable for any wrongful acts of servants while they are in the service of the master.

An agent is a third party representative of the principal in his or her dealings with third parties. An agent does not have such relationships. Agents are paid through commissions or fees, and employees are paid through salaries. Agents work for several masters at once, while Servants serve only one master. Agents are not Servants; however, Servants are generally deemed as the master’s Implied Agent depending on the tasks or position of the Servant. Agents are often referred to as superior servants because of this reason.




1.  An agent has an authority to create contractual relationship between the principal and a third party. A servant has no authority to create contractual relationship between the principal and a third party.
2. An agent is not subject to the direct control or supervision of the principal leading to greater discretion in his actions.  A servant acts under the direct control and supervision of his master, and is bound to carry out all reasonable orders given to him in the course of his work.
3. An agent is paid commission on the basis of work done. A servant is paid by way of salary or wages.
4. A principal is liable for only those acts which are within the scope of the authority given to the agent. A master is liable for the wrongs of his servants committed in the course of employment.
5. An agent may work for a number of principals at the same time. A servant usually serves only one master.

Leave a Comment