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Mandate: Definition, Example and Related Terms

What is a Mandate ?

A mandate, in the simplest terms, is like a task or a mission given to someone by an authority. In the world of business and commerce, a mandate is an instruction or command from a company or organization to a person or another organization to perform certain duties or take certain actions. This command is usually formal and legal, which means it's often included in a contract and must be followed. If it's not followed, there could be consequences like fines or even legal action.

It's very important to understand and follow mandates in business contracts. Mandates can cover a wide range of duties and actions. For example, a company might give a mandate to an advertising agency to promote a new product. Or a government might give a mandate to a company to reduce its pollution. Sometimes, mandates can also be given by shareholders of a company to its board of directors. These mandates can be quite complex and detailed, specifying exactly what actions should be taken, when they should be done, and how success will be measured. For a contracts manager, understanding mandates is crucial. They need to make sure that all the mandates in a contract are clear and specific, and that they are achievable. They also need to track the progress of the mandates and ensure they are being fulfilled. If not, they need to take action to correct the situation. So, mandates are a key part of their job.


  • Scenario Description
    A company hires a marketing agency to promote their new product. In this case, the company's mandate to the marketing agency might be to increase awareness of the new product by 20% over the next six months. The agency would then be responsible for coming up with and implementing a marketing strategy to achieve this goal.
    A company is required by law to reduce its environmental impact. The government's mandate to the company might be to reduce its carbon emissions by 10% over the next year. The company would then need to find ways to make its operations more environmentally friendly to meet this mandate.
    Shareholders of a company want the board of directors to focus on increasing profits. The shareholders' mandate to the board might be to increase the company's profits by 15% over the next fiscal year. The board would then need to make strategic decisions to try to achieve this goal.

Related terms