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Power of attorney in France

Power of attorney in France

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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The power of attorney in France, also known as “procuration” is a legal document that must be signed in front of a notary and  through which a person called a grantor, principal or donor enables another person, called an agent or an attorney-in-fact to execute various types of actions in his/her name. There are several conditions that must be met by the grantor and the agent when signing the power of attorney, like being of legal age and in full mental capacity.
Our law firm in France can provide assistance if you need to draw up a power of attorney in France. If you want to open a company, it may be useful to delegate some of the responsibilities to another entrusted individual using this type of legal document.

What does a French power of attorney contain?

In France, the power of attorney can be granted by the principal to the agent for various legal purposes. The document must specify the activities the agent is allowed to carry out in the name of the principal and it is only valid if the agent has received the consent of the principal. The agent must present the power of attorney whenever necessary in order to define the actions he/she can undertake in the name of the principal.
A French power of attorney must observe all the demands stated in the French Civil Code. The document must be dated and include the names of the individuals. Powers of attorney without a date of execution are null. The grantor can revoke this document at any time if he/she wishes so and the power of attorney can also be issued only for a limited amount of time.
Our French lawyers can advise you regarding the legal provisions for using and issuing a power of attorney. The person entrusted with such a document must always be a trustworthy individual. 

What is a power of attorney used for in France?

A power of attorney can be used in France whenever a person must delegate another individual to act on his/her behalf. They can be employed by individuals as well as businessmen or company owners. A power of attorney can be used for:
- business transactions;
- receiving official documents;
- operating bank accounts;
- signing contracts or other documents.

Types of power of attorney in France

The types of power of attorney that can be used in France are:
- ordinary: granted depending on the purpose of the representation, according to the needs of the donor;
- protective: used by individuals who want to appoint one or more representatives who will defend their interests when they will no longer be able to do so;
- posthumous: mainly used by business owners; it comes into force on the day the ordinary power of attorney expires. 
It is advisable to seek the help of a professional when drawing up a power of attorney. Depending on the rights granted to the representative, this document may or may not be used for general purposes, thus it is best to conceive a general power of attorney, rather than a limited one because certain transactions can be cancelled if the power of attorney does not meet all of the demands.
Please contact our law firm in France for more information about doing business there and other details about the French legislation applicable for foreign investors



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