Authorization Letter: Definition, Types and How to write it

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It is entirely possible that unavoidable circumstances will make you unable to perform a professional or personal task. In that scenario, you can, fortunately, have others do it for you by giving them the explicit authority to do so. Government agencies, banks, and other financial institutions, corporate organizations, healthcare facilities even, require their clients to provide a letter in this regard that will allow them to grant the request you are making. This is when you need to write an authorization letter to formalize things. Moreover, it is not just having others work on your behalf; they can be even delegated your duties and responsibilities as an official, can spend a specific sum until you take over, etc. There are lots of intentions to write such a letter. It is, therefore, important that one knows everything about it.

Definition of an Authorization Letter

A letter that gives a third party an authority to act on your behalf temporarily is called an authorization letter. Note that the permission is *temporary* only. Also, the power is limited to what is written in the letter. If you are to collect a particular document, you do not have the permission to go through other files, even a relative file except the one mentioned, unless said otherwise.

Types of Authorization Letters

There are three broad kinds of authorization letters. They are:

  1. Personal Authorization Letter

- Travel Authorization Letter (sample)
- Act on Behalf Authorization Letter-Personal
- Child Care Authorization Letter
- Document Collection Authorization Letter
- Pick up/Receive Authorization Letter
- Information Processing Authorization Letter
- Financial Authorization Letter
- Signature Authorization Letter

  1. Business Authorization Letter

- Insurance Policy Authorization Letter
- Mortgage Authorization Letter
- Loan Authorization Letter
- Sales Authorization Letter
- Claim Authorization Letter
- Authorization Letter to Bank
- Power of Attorney Authorization Letter

  1. Medical Authorization Letter (sample)


How to write it:

Here I will tell you what goes in a standard authorization letter.

Format and Content of an Authorization Letter:

Before you start writing, let me give you a backstory to explain things better.

Suppose, you had taken a leave from the office earlier for a family function or say an emergency, and you are in the countryside. However, you need to be there in the office for a sudden project anomaly, and you’re the Head of Sales. It is practically impossible to be in both places at once. Even if you try coming, chances are it’ll take enough time to have the anomaly turned into a catastrophe. What you can do in these circumstances, is find a representative, who can be your “proxy” in the situation and conduct business and give decisions on your behalf.

You must also understand that there are three parties involved in this dealing. The first party is the writer, you, the rights holder. The second party is the company, and the third party is the person you are selecting as a representative. He can be a colleague or a subordinate. However, even if everyone in the company knows him or you could tell him to work on your behalf, you have to make sure the stakeholders are aware of this delegation by the form of this letter.

So, here are the steps:

  1. After the company letterhead and your full details (everything typed, not handwritten), mention the date of writing the letter. Then proceed to the details of the second party. Here the second party is the company you work for. It can be an individual too.
  2. After a salutation to the M.D of the company, proceed to the body.
  3. The body although precise in content and relatively short compared to other letters is the most crucial part to build. Before working on the body, see that it answers the following questions:

- What is the time limit or duration of his period of authorization? It can’t be something like “till I return” or “as long as the company needs.” It has to have the date. And most importantly the month and the year. Everyone knows it is the month of June, and you simply mention 22-28th June thinking that it’s common sense to understand it should the month of June and this year. However, no. You’re supposed to write everything in full, leaving no room for ambiguity.

- What task am I assigning him? As the Head of Sales, are you appointing him all of your roles, which involve access to very confidential files? Are you giving him the vague responsibility to “carry out duties for the better” and permitting him to mishandle an employee in Sales he has a beef with? In clear terms, mention that your proxy will be “working on the emergency project X or occurrence Y to only sign the contract with so-and-so on your behalf.” As much as you should focus on delegating responsibilities, you should focus on setting the boundaries.

  1. Close on a positive note and sign.
  2. It is better to have a witness sign the letter and have it notarized.

Tips to Remember:

  1. The letter acts as a contract that will legally bind you to the principal, and the third party, the agent. Even if it is for personal purposes, make sure it has all the necessary details, and is professional.
  2. Avoid the use of vague terms, mention full names, full date, employee code, passport or ID number, etc.
  3. Have the letter read by someone to make sure that it is understandable.
  4. Keep it short.

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