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What Is a Power of Attorney for Business?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A power of attorney for business is a legal form authorizing someone to act on behalf of a business. The form typically details the settings and transactions where the person has power of attorney, rather than granting a general power of attorney that would allow the authorized agent to act completely freely. There are a number of settings where such documents can be useful and people interested in giving power of attorney to a person associated with a business can discuss the specifics with a lawyer.

Power of attorney forms provide legal authority for a person acting as an agent. A power of attorney for business can allow people to sell securities, access financial accounts, place orders, write checks, and perform other activities needed to keep a business running. It may limit certain activities such as hiring and firing powers or access to certain accounts for security reasons. When a person exercises this power, any decisions made are treated as though they came from the business itself.

It is possible to use a generic power of attorney form to draft a power of attorney for business, by checking off various fields on the form to indicate what kinds of decisions a person can make. Attorneys can also be involved in the creation of a document tailored to specific needs, and this may be recommended. Getting advice from an attorney can help people draft a document with the appropriate scope of powers and ensure that the document clearly outlines all of the permissions and restrictions.

Power of attorney for business can be effective at all times, or only take effect under certain circumstances, like when the primary decision-maker is not available or is incapable of making decisions. While making decisions about power of attorney, people should think about the needs of the given situation and consider what kinds of powers they want to grant and when. It is also important to discuss it with the person being granted power of attorney, so that individual has an understanding of what is expected.

Generally, someone acting with power of attorney is expected to make decisions in the best interest of the business and its operators. These decisions might not necessarily be those that the person would make personally, but they support the stated goals of the business. The decisions must also be within the scope of the law; someone acting under power of attorney for a business cannot use these powers to coordinate illegal activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a Power of Attorney for Business?

Answer: A Power of Attorney for Business is a legal document that permits a person or entity to appoint another person or entity to represent them in business affairs. The agent or attorney-in-fact has the authority to make decisions, execute contracts, and conduct commercial transactions on behalf of the business owner. Depending on the needs of the business, the power of attorney may be restricted or extensive, as well as temporary or permanent.

Why may a business owner require a Power of Attorney?

A business owner may need a Power of Attorney to safeguard the continuity of their business if they are unable to manage it themselves. For instance, if the business owner becomes ill or disabled, the Power of Attorney authorizes the authorized agent to make decisions and administer the business on their behalf. The Power of Attorney is also useful if the business owner is unable to sign key documents in person, such as when they are traveling or otherwise unavailable.

Who may be named as an agent in a Business Power of Attorney?

The appointed agent in a Power of Attorney for Business might be any trustworthy individual or organization able to manage the business on behalf of the business owner. This may include a family member, friend, or business associate, in addition to an attorney or accountant. It is essential to select an agent who has the requisite abilities, experience, and understanding to operate the business effectively and who will act in the owner's best interests.

What are the restrictions of an Enduring Power of Attorney for Business?

The limitations of a Power of Attorney for Business rely on the document's precise provisions. The power of attorney might be restricted to certain actions or transactions, or it can be expansive and cover all business matters. Also, the business owner can specify whether the power of attorney is temporary or permanent. Nonetheless, the power of attorney does not authorize the agent to act outside the limits of the authority conferred, nor does it permit them to participate in fraudulent or criminal acts.

How may a Power of Attorney for Business be terminated?

A Power of Attorney for Business can be cancelled at any time by the business owner, assuming they are of sound mind and legal ability. The cancellation should be made in writing and sent to the agent and any other relevant parties, such as business partners or financial institutions. It is essential to ensure that all parties are aware of the revocation and that all necessary procedures are followed to preserve the business's interests.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a MyLawQuestions researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By Terrificli — On Jan 30, 2015

@Soulfox -- I think you are right, but a business power of attorney is a little bit different. In theory, one of those will terminate at a certain time or be revoked. Also, they can be made to only grant power of attorney for a specific purpose and then automatically be revoiked once that purpose has been completed in full.

Executives, on the other hand, are more like agents of the company that have a different relationship. The business power of attorney is generally for outsiders, whereas executives are part of the company.

By Soulfox — On Jan 29, 2015

In a way, don't executives who act on behalf of a business have a power of attorney anyway? I mean, a corporation is considered a person under the law and executives are given broad powers to spend money, enter contracts and do other things on behalf of that corporation.

It would seem that certain executives effectively have a power of attorney as part of their jobs. Without people authorized to make certain decisions, the company won't last long at all.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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