Principal – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

The principal is the person who grants a power of attorney to another person to represent him and act in their interest and on behalf of the person who grants the power, producing effects in the legal relations of the represented person, that is, of the principal.

As a general rule, in law, the principle is that no one can legally act for another person, but representation is the exception. Thus, the person who is established as principal can give powers to be represented.

When does the principal act? He can act voluntarily or legally:

  • Voluntary Representation: one person authorizes another to represent him and will need a power of attorney. This type of representation is not governed by the legal norm, but by the mandate contract. That power that the representative needs must be granted before a notary public.
  • Legal representation: It is the representation established by law. This type of representation is subject to the rules of the Civil Code. This is established in order to protect the interests of the principal. For example, the legal representation of minors, that is, parental authority. The legal representative in this case will not need a power of attorney that proves that he has the legitimacy to represent.

The principal is one of the two parties that make up this possible representation and that is regulated in the Civil Code. In order for the grantor to grant powers of attorney, he must have the legal capacity to carry out the act on which he is granting representation. For example, if a person’s capacity to act to do business in the stock market is impeded by a sentence, he also does not have the capacity to give power of attorney to another person to do so on his behalf.

The counterpart of this legal business is the agent or representative.

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Attorney

It is the person legitimated to carry out legal business on behalf of another person. It can be legally or voluntarily legitimated. His obligations are:

  • He has to act under the principle of loyalty, this means that he cannot use the power granted for other functions than those indicated.
  • The person receiving the power must be a natural person, with full capacity to act, of legal age and with sufficient training to comply with what was agreed with the principal.
  • You can only act in the functions that the principal has granted you. If he has full powers over all the actions of the principal, he will have a greater scope to exercise his functions. He cannot exceed the functions that have been entrusted to him.
  • You will have to account for your actions before the principal.
  • The representative must have in his possession a power of attorney or a copy of the one that has been granted before a notary public. Thus, in the voluntary representation, in the legal one it is not necessary.
  • Legal representatives act in the interest of the principal.
  • The representatives do not have the obligation to respect the will of the principal. Since they look after your interests, due to your condition, you need representation. On the other hand, in the voluntary representation, you must completely respect his will. It depends on the will of the represented party, the powers, the scope and the duration.
  • He has the obligation to take care of the interest of the represented party, even once it ends, while the person he represents or another representative cannot take care of him.
  • The representative acts on behalf of and on behalf of the principal, this means that, if the representative acts in legal transactions with a third person, this business links that third person with the principal and not with the representative.

Types of powers of the principal

The principal can choose what type of power he gives to his agent to act on his behalf and in his interest:

  • Overall Power: The principal grants the agent all the powers to act on their own in any legal business or before the administration.
  • Special power: the principal grants the agent a specific power only for an action or activity.

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