Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    One whose regular business is to sell consigned goods on commission; a garnishee. See 120 Wis. 405, 102 Am. St. Rep. 991, 98 N. W. 235.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    1. A commercial agent, employed by a principal to sell merchandise consigned to him for that purpose, for and in behalf of the principal, but usually in his own name, being intrusted with the possession and control of the goods, and being remunerated by a commission, commonly called "factorage." Howland v. Woodruff, 60 N. Y. 80; In re Rabenau (D. Ct) 118 Fed. 474; Lawrence v. Stonington Bank, 6 Conn. 527; Graham v. Dnckwall, 8 Bush (Ky.) 17. A factor is an agent who, in the pursuit of an independent calling, is employed by another to sell property for him, and is vested by the latter with the possession or control of the property, or authorized to receive payment therefor from the purchaser. Civ. Co.de Cal. § 2026; Civ. Co.de Dak. § 1168. Classification. Factors are called "domestic" or "foreign" according as they reside and do business in the same state or country with the principal or in a different state or country. A domestic factor is sometimes called a "home" factor. Ruffner v. Hewitt, 7 W. Va. 585. Synonyms. A factor differs from a "broker" in that he is intrusted with the possession, management, and control of the goods, (which gives him a special property in them,) while a broker acts as a mere intermediary without control or possession of the property; and further, a factor is authorized to buy and sell in his own name, as well as in that of the principal, which a broker is not Edwards v. Hoeffinghoff (C. C.) 38 Fed. 641: Deiafield v. Smith, 101 Wis. 664, 78 N. W. 170, 70 Am. St. Rep. 938; Graham v. Duckwnil, 8 Bush (Ky.) 12; Slack v. Tucker, 23 Wall. 330, 23 L. Ed. 148. Factors are also frequently called "commission merchants ;" and it la said that there is no difference in the meaning of these terms, the latter being perhaps more commonly used in America. Thompson v. Woodruff, 7 Cold. 410: Duguid v. Edwards, 50 Barb. (N. Y.) 288; Lyon v. AJ-vord, 18 Co.nn. 80. Where an owner of goods to be shipped by sea consigns them to the care of an agent, who sails on the same vessel, has charge of the cargo on board, sells it abroad, and buys a return cargo out of the proceeds, such agent is strictly and properly a "factor. though in maritime law and usage he ls com na only called a "supercargo.", Beaw. Lex Merc. 44, 47; Iiverm. Ag. 69, 70.
    —Factorage. The allowance or commission paid to a factor by his principal. Winne v. Hammond. 37 111. 103; Slate v. Thompson, 12 Mo. 12, 25 S. W. 346.
    —Factors' acts. Th name given to several English statutes (6 Gen. IV. c. 94; 5 & 6 Viet c. 39; 40 & 41 Viet, c. 39) by which a factor is enabled to make a valid pledge of the goods, or of any part thereof, to one who believes him to be the bona fide owner of the goods.
    2. The term ls used in some of the states to denote the person who is elsewhere calied "garnishee" or "trustee." See Factorizing Process.
    3. In Scotch law, a person appointed to transact business or manage affairs for another, but more particularly an estate-agent or one intrusted with the management of a landed estate, who finds tenants, makes leases, collects the rents, etc.
    —Judicial factor. In Scotch law. A factor appointed by the courts in certain cases where it becomes necessary to intrust the management of property to another than the owner, as; where the latter is insane or imbecile or thf infant heir of a decedent