Knowing where to sign a contract is important since it is legally enforceable. This means neither party can violate the contract without being in jeopardy of a lawsuit. It doesn't matter what the other party says he'll do or not do, but only what is in the contract itself. For this reason, the language needs to be clear and should have a detailed outline of the agreement you've come to with the other party.

As an example, if you'll be entering a contract to purchase pens and paper from a supplier, but only the pens are stated in the contract, you'll have to pay for both the pens and paper without receiving the paper.

What Should a Contract Include?

An experienced attorney should look over the contract before you sign it. If there is anything you have questions about or disagree with, you'll want to talk to the other party to renegotiate before you sign it. A solid contract should be clear about how long the agreement will last. There may be a set term, such as putting an attorney on retainer for up to a year. Sometimes the contract will end after a particular project is done.

Either way, the contract needs to be clear about how both parties know the contract is expired. If there isn't a set period in the contract, put provisions under which it's possible for the contract to be terminated. This may be by mutual agreement, with 30 days' notice, or if one party breaches the contract.

Severability Clause

Severability is defined as a legal term that means one part of the contract still stands if another part is found to be unconstitutional or illegal. You should have a severability clause in your contract; otherwise, the whole contract is null if someone sues over one line or the law changes.

How to Properly Sign a Contract

When you sign a contract on behalf of your business, you can't just sign your name or your business's name. Instead, you'll need to sign as an authorized agent of your company, so make sure the signature line clearly lists your name and title and states that you're signing "on behalf of" your company, which you should identify by name. If you sign as yourself, you could be personally liable for any lawsuits that arise from the contract.

You also do not want the wrong person representing the other party to sign the contract. If it is not signed by someone with the authority to do so, you may not have a legally binding contract with that company, or you might be limiting your ability to enforce the contract if something goes wrong down the road. If you are unsure, check with a senior official in the company, or ask the government "registrar" in your province or state to verify that person's authority.

Who Is an Authorized Representative of a Limited Company?

If a limited corporation or company is involved, the company's articles of association can decide who signs. According to English law, the director's signature is usually depended on by the other party. This is because the director has notable authority to bind the company that they're the director of. An executive officer may also sign the document instead of the director.

Who is an Authorized Representative of a Partnership?

The safest way to go is to get every partner to sign. However, this isn't always practical, so make sure that all the partners who sign are authorized to do so. You should have a third party watch the contract signing for evidential reasons. The witness can then confirm that the signature of the party matches that of the one on the agreement. England allows contracts to be effective without any of the signatures being witnessed. Some countries require the contract to be signed in front of a notary public in order for it to be effective.

Each jurisdiction has its own rules, so it's important to check what the position is with yours before the contract is finalized. Once the signing is observed, the witness should write the following:

  • His name legibly stated in capital letters.
  • His home address.

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