A business agent is a person who serves as a proxy for a business. The job can be full-time, as when an attorney serves as the registered agent for a group of businesses, or temporary, as when an employee represents her boss during business negotiations.
Acting on Business's Behalf
Many business agents are attorneys acting as registered agents. A registered agent receives court pleadings and service of process on behalf of the business. He may offer preliminary legal representation, serve as general counsel to the business or simply send legal documents to a specialist attorney. Businesses can also hire attorneys to act in the business's stead, such as by signing court pleadings or contracts. Non-attorneys can perform these same functions when a business signs over power of attorney. In such a scenario, a business agent may open bank accounts, sign court documents or authorize business decisions such as terminating employees. For these agents, the job is usually full-time, requiring significant knowledge of a business's finances, legal status and financial objectives.
Selling a Product
Business agents are frequently involved in the purchase or sale of business supplies or products. For example, an agent may find a buyer for a business vehicle, execute the sales agreement and work out a financing arrangement that's in the business's best interests. These agents are authorized to either sell or purchase products on behalf of the business, to use the business's trademarked logos and to act on behalf of the business in customer communications.
Meetings and Negotiation Sessions
Anyone can be a business agent on a temporary basis. When an employer sends an assistant to the bank to make a deposit, the assistant is acting as the employer's agent. Some businesses, though, hire full-time agents to fill this role. Many unions, for example, hire agents who are former union members. These agents represent the union during negotiation sessions, head the union office and serve as a central point of contact for the union.
Representatives and Advocates
Some businesses hire agents to promote their products or brand. For example, a literary agent helps locate a publisher for a book, and may help market the book or author once it's published. Just as individuals rely on such agents, so do businesses that need help drawing attention to a brand or gaining a loyal following for a product or publication.