Apparent Authority Definition

The condition that arises if a third party believes that an agent has the authority to act for another person or company (called the principal) when that authority has not in reality been granted. If an agent acts with apparent authority, the agent's acts legally bind the principal. For example, a customer may believe that an employee who presents a contract on company stationery is authorized to sign that contract on behalf of the company. Even if the employee does not have the authority to enter into contracts, the company will be legally bound by the signed agreement.