Often considered synonymous with the term "buying agent," an indent agent is a party that seeks to function as the means of connecting buyers who need certain goods and services with sellers who have those productions and are open to entering into some sort of transaction. In addition to bringing the two parties together, the indent agent may also provide temporary storage facilities for the goods in question, such as warehousing them until the terms of the transaction are complete. The agent may also oversee the actual shipping process involved, making sure that it is managed in whatever manner is most expedient for the parties involved in the transaction.
While in a number of settings an indent agent may also be called a buying agent, this is not the case in all cultures. In some places, an buying agent would be focused on providing services to a buyer, meaning that the agent will attempt to locate and secure goods on behalf of his or her client with the best possible purchase price and shipping terms. Within those same settings, the ident agent would be viewed as the representative of the seller, and would work to obtain the highest purchase price for the client, as well as arrange shipping terms that are in the bests interests of the seller.
An indent agent will normally provide his or services under terms and conditions outlined in a contract. The typical indent agent contract will define the scope of activities and tasks that the agent will oversee on the behalf of the client, address the authorizations that the client is extending to the agent for use in performing those tasks, and state the terms of payment during the existence of the contract. Some agents may use a fee system that is composed of flat rates for various tasks, or utilize a percentage or commission structure that is agreeable to both parties. The terms of the contract between the agent and the client must be in compliance with any governmental laws and regulations that relate to agent contracts within that jurisdiction.
Using an ident agent can be very helpful for the client. Agents of this type often have access to broad informational networks that the client may or may not have the resources or the time to use to best effect. By engaging the agent to manage the process of either locating prospective buyers for goods and services offered, or to find vendors for products that are desired, a client can save a lot of time and money, while also remaining free to devote more time to other important aspects of his or her business operation.