Contract Signature Page: Everything You Need to Know
A contract signature page can affect whether a contract is enforceable and who the responsible persons are for legal purposes. Legal persons may be individuals, limited liability companies, corporations, and other entities. Only legal persons are parties to contracts.3 min read
Updated October 26, 2020:
A contract signature page can affect whether a contract is enforceable and who the responsible persons are for legal purposes. Legal persons may be individuals, limited liability companies, corporations, and other entities. Only legal persons are parties to contracts.
Tips for Signing a Contract Signature Page
All documents demand an individual's signature. This act isn't reserved for only legally binding contracts. A signature is a universal symbol that the person signing is in agreement. It also serves as a form of identification for the person signing.
- The information in the introductory paragraph and the signature blocks should match exactly.
- The introductory paragraph should name the parties who are involved in entering the contract.
- The names in the signature blocks for the two parties should match exactly to those in the introductory paragraph. It is recommended by the Ken Adam's Manual of Style for Contract Drafting to not include in the signature block the company's jurisdiction of organization.
- For companies using a fictitious name, it should be in both the signature block and the introductory paragraph. A fictitious name should not be used in the intro paragraph or signature block instead of the company's legal name.
- Signatures can be written in any way and include special characters, signs, loops, or other creative ways as long as the signature remains consistent and does not deviate in its form from contract to contract.
- Most contracts are not legally binding until it has the signatures of each party named in the contract. Once signed, the contract confirms the agreement of each party and their intent to execute the terms of the contract.
Signing the Contract
- For most legal documents, the last page is referred to as the signing page. It usually has a dark line indicated for the signature and the name of the individual or company name underneath. There may also be a line to print your name or to fill in contact information.
- Some forms may instruct each party to initial every page as well as sign the last page. Although not a legal requirement, a power of attorney or last will and testament are examples when this step may be included. The initial on each page is a way of indicating that the person providing the initials has read and agreed to the terms of each page.
- There is usually a separate section on the signing page for the notary to use a stamp or seal as formal authentication and acknowledgment of the contract. The contract must be signed by both parties in the presence of the witness or notary public.
- Sign the way you do for all other documents such as a check.
- Do not use pencil, red, or light-colored ink; do not write with anything that can be easily tampered with.
- If the contract needs to be valid in another country, request an authentication certificate from your state agency.
Information About the Contract Signature Page
In general, entities not formed by filing the appropriate paperwork with their Secretary of State are going to be responsible for their contracts.
For example, if someone is doing business as a sole proprietor, that person is the party to the contracts for the business. This is the case even if the individual has registered his business with a fictitious name or a "doing business as" (DBA) with the state.
In this case, the sole proprietor would sign the contracts in an individual capacity. If the person is doing business as with a business name, he would sign his business contracts with his individual name followed by doing business as or DBA and then the company name.
Although entities are considered legal persons, for the most part, a human agent must act for them.
When a human agent is signing an entity's contract, it is important that the person signing the contract makes it clear they are doing so on behalf of the entity and not in their individual capacity.
If an individual forms a corporation and engages in business contracts, the individual would sign with the name of the corporation, first, followed by whatever state corporation, then by the individual's name. For example, The XYZ Store, Inc., a Missouri corporation, by John Doe.
If a company is doing business as the XYZ Store, Inc., but its legal name is John Doe Enterprises, Inc., contracts would be signed as John Doe Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a the XYZ Store, Inc.
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