China – Authorising someone to act on your behalf (委托书)
Power of Attorney (委托书) in China
If you live in Australia, but have business or property dealings in China, unless you are planning to travel to China to do things yourself, you may need to think about appointing someone in China to act on your behalf. Appointing someone to act on your behalf requires you to sign some sort of authority, or a legal document known as a power of attorney (委托书).
The power of attorney confirms to other people in China that the person that you have appointed, being your attorney/trustee (受托人) has the power to act on your behalf. Sometimes a simple authorisation letter can be enough depending on where you are using it or what you are using it for, but if you want to make sure that there are no problems with your appointment or authority, then you should use a power of attorney. If you are not sure, you should ask a lawyer in China or your attorney for advice.
Templates for a power of attorney (委托书) in China
Copies of the template power of attorney for China can be found on the website of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China (中华人民共和国驻悉尼总领事馆).
Or you can download our modified version (which we have edited to allow for enough space to properly sign and stamp at the bottom of the page).
These templates for the power of attorney are intended for a general purpose and only provided for your information as an example of what clients commonly use. We do not guarantee that these documents are either relevant or suitable to your specific situation and we encourage you to ask a lawyer in China or your attorney for advice.
Authentication of documents going to China
Before a power of attorney (委托书) can be valid in China, it must be (1) signed in front of a notary public (公证律师), (2) authenticated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and then (3) authenticated by the Chinese Embassy or consulate – it is a three-stage process.
If you do not follow this process, the power of attorney (or any other authorisation letter) will not be accepted in China as being legally valid and may not be recognised in the way that you want it to be recognised. Unfortunately, it may also mean that you will incur additional cost and suffer unnecessary delay.
Although many clients arrange for their own authentication with DFAT and the Chinese Embassy or consulate, we can also assist you by providing you with this service to avoid the hassles and the hardship of doing it yourself. We will lodge and collect the notarised power of attorney from DFAT and the Chinese Consulate in Sydney on your behalf. Be aware that the whole process can take up to 2 weeks to complete.
For more information about authenticating your document with the Chinese Embassy or consulate, visit the information form found on the website of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.
Do you have any questions regarding this article?
If you have never had to have a document notarised before, you may find our role as a notary public, the notary public services that we provide, and this whole process (especially authentication, legalisation and apostille) to be confusing and daunting. Do not worry! We are here to try to simplify it, make it easy for you to understand, and to guide you or assist you with achieving your desired goal.
So, what next?
If you are now ready to proceed with having your document notarised, please visit our Notary Fees page for a FREE quote on our notary public services or just call us on 02 9687 8885 and speak to our friendly staff about your requirements.
Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?
We are a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our low-cost fixed fee notary services, our availability to provide notary public services on short notice, and our focus on personal and timely notary public services. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, our notary public assists clients from across all suburbs of Sydney and beyond.
This website is maintained by Phang Legal, an incorporated legal practice in Parramatta and a leading provider of notary public services to clients across Sydney. Extensive experience and low-cost fixed prices ensures quality services and satisfied clients.
Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and a notary public. Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the kinds of issues faced by his clients in sending documents overseas.
All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct as at the time of publication. You should only rely on information and advice that is specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.