Your signature is important. It is your seal of approval, your official stamp, and your own personal font. Whether you are entering into an employment contract, sealing the deal on the mortgage details for your new house, or simply witnessing the signing of a document for someone else, you will undoubtedly sign your name in an official capacity hundreds of times during the course of your life.
Since there are so many kinds of documents, not just contracts that are legally binding, that necessitate your John Hancock, it is vital to ensure that you understand what a signature is, where it goes, and what it means.
What is a Signature?
A signature distinguishes the person who signed it from everybody else. It is a person’s way of spelling out their name in a visually distinctive manner. Unless denoted on a legal document, a signature may include swirls, loops, descenders, ascenders, and even unique characters. Due to the fact that a signature is intended to establish a person’s identity for the purposes of authorizing agreements and documents, it is best for it to appear uniform on everything you sign.
Why Does a Contract Need My Signature?
The majority of contracts are not legally binding until after they have been signed by all persons involved. When you sign a document, you are signifying your intentions to carry out the terms outlined in that contract.
What is a Signatory?
A signatory is either a person or an organization whose signature is on a contract or an agreement. Should an organization be the signatory, a representative will sign their own name on behalf of the organization. Signatories are required to be the age of majority, which in California is 18-years-old, and involved in the execution of the contract or document.
For example, if you and your spouse draw up and sign a Prenuptial Agreement before you get married, both of you would be the signatories.
The term signatory may refer to a:
- Not-for-profit organization
- Limited liability corporation
- Government entity
Where Do I Sign a Contract?
The final page of almost all legal documents will have a dedicated spot for any necessary signatures. Although every document is different, they all typically include solid lines with each signatories name printed underneath, showing you where to sign.
What is the Appropriate Way to Sign a Contract?
You should sign all contracts or legal documents in the same manner that you sign checks, tax returns, or correspondence. For example, if you always go by your middle name in person and on paper, then you should sign your name that way unless otherwise directed.
Our qualified California business attorneys realize that signing your name to any document can be intimidating, but signatures are mandatory when creating a legitimate contract.
Understanding how, when, and where you should sign your name could ease some of your anxieties when it comes to putting your name on legally binding paperwork and will help make sure that the contract is carried out as intended.
An experienced contract attorney at Leiva Law Firm can answer any questions you may have about a contract that you are thinking of signing. To schedule a free consultation with a California business attorney, call 818-519-4465 today. Our attorneys speak both English and Spanish.