(law) A written legal document by which one person (principal) authorizes another person (agent) to perform stated acts on the principal’s behalf. For example: to enter into contracts, to sign documents, to sign checks, and spend money, etc.
A principal may execute a special power of attorney authorizing an agent to sign a specific contract or a general power of attorney authorizing the agent to sign all contracts for the principal.
(U.S. Customs) Importers often give a limited power of attorney to their customs broker to conduct business with U.S. Customs on their behalf.
Tip: When you set up a power of attorney, make sure that it is broad enough in its language to cover the types of situations likely to arise, but not so broad that it gives more power to that individual than you intend. Power of attorney falls under “agency” law, which varies from country to country. Before giving someone power of attorney in a foreign country, be sure you understand what the local legal ramifications are. See agent; agency.