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A document giving one person authority to act on another person’s behalf with the backing of the law. Mandates may be given to directors, or others, to sign cheques on behalf of a company. In this instance, the banker must possess a specimen signature of the person holding the mandate. Mandates may also be given to responsible persons who will act and contract on behalf of another person who is, because of a court order, deemed unable to act on his own behalf, e.g. a person of unsound mind or a bankrupt or deceased person. Any change in a mandate must be authorized by those initially responsible for granting it.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.