Powers of Attorney

Posted July 2, 2012

As you can imagine Powers of Attorney (POA’s) are an integral part of our business.  We are required by law to have on file a valid power of attorney from our customers before we can perform any customs business on their behalf.   The power of attorney must be properly filled out, signed and dated by someone of appropriate authority in the company. 

Historically, the greatest number of errors noted on our end when executing a new power of attorney is regarding the signor of the POA having the authority to legally bind the company.  Following is a quick overview of the requirements for a person or company to properly execute a power of attorney with J.W. Allen & Company.

Corporation POA’s must be signed by an officer of the corporation (President, Vice-President, Secretary or Treasurer).  If someone other than an Officer signs the power of attorney, we must have documentation certifying that the person signing the power of attorney has the authority to sign by a resolution of the Board of Directors along with articles of incorporation and the bylaws of the corporation.  Powers of attorney by a corporation are valid until revoked.

Limited Liability Company POA’s must be signed by a managing member.  The Power of attorney should also state all members of the LLC.  If the signature party is not a managing member, documentation must be provided proving that the person signing the POA is authorized to do so under the terms of the LLC.  The issue of the duration for this power of attorney has not been resolved by Customs.  Customs recommends the validity term be 2 years.

Partnership POA’s can be signed by any of the partners.  If someone other than a partner acts as the signature party, documentation must be provided proving the individual has authorization to sign under the term of the partnership agreement.  Partnership POA’s are valid for 2 years.

Nonresident Corporation POA’s must be signed by someone who has authorization to sign under the laws of the foreign corporation and supporting documentation must be provided to confirm the signature party has the authorization to bind the Corporation.   Also required is the Corporation Certification which must be signed by someone other than the person who already signed the power of attorney.  This power of attorney is valid until revoked.

Once the Power of Attorney is filled out and signed properly, we must validate the power of attorney.   In order to validate, we check applicable websites to verify the business’ legitimacy including confirming  its’ registrations in the residing states, verify the Federal Tax ID number and screen the Company for any sanctions that may be imposed by any Government Agencies.

At J.W. Allen we validate our powers of attorney to make sure we are in compliance with Customs rules and regulations.  If we keep bothering you for new powers of attorney or asking a lot of questions, please be patient with us; it’s only to avoid problems down the road and to keep us all resting peacefully at night.

Please don’t shoot the messenger!

Best Regards

Beth Raymond
Vice President - Imports

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