Financial Dictionary -> General Finance -> Fee

Fee is one word with about a thousand different inferences. For example, it is a fixed charge for a privilege or for professional services. It is also called a tip or gratuity when paid for a service that is beyond the agreed upon compensation. The most common example is tipping a wait person in a restaurant. Some people also refer to the tip/fee as a toke. Hence, fee can wear several jackets.

A fee is the price one pays as remuneration for services which sounds like it contradicts the above explanation. However, if you have ever visited a doctor or lawyer or paid a consultant, you have paid them a fee for their services. A fee is how they are compensated.

A professional speaker is paid a fee, exclusive of expenses, for speaking at an engagement when hired by a meeting or event planner.

Expenses are never considered as part of the fee as that amount stands alone per the contract. If you are dealing in real property, a fee is defined as an estate of inheritance. Several fee types exist in real estate. For example, a landlord charges a tenant a fee, sometimes called a deposit, as a cleaning deposit before the tenant can take possession of the property.

Governments have become fee heavy with regard to obtaining licenses, certificates, etc. Some people consider government fees as nothing more than taxes in disguise. Regardless, with the police powers standing behind governments, people pay and absorb the cost.

If you have ever made a loan, you know a fee is the charge associated with the processing of your loan. The paid fees do not guarantee you will get the loan. However, some of the fees may be refunded to you if the loan is disapproved. Always ask if any of the fees are refundable.

Fee is from the Old English word feoh. It originally had a narrow meaning, cattle, goods and money but has evolved as people expanded the language to fit their particular situations. Given people's need to make words fit their circumstances, the word fee may see expanded usage. After all, language is an ever expanding asset.