Signing a Letter on Someone Else's Behalf

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Sometimes in the business world, it is necessary for office staff to sign on behalf of a manager or company president. This usually happens when the manager or president is not available or too busy to sign letters themselves. Only an authorized representative should sign on someone else's behalf.

The official term for signing for someone else is referred to as procuration. This term is taken from the Latin word procurare meaning to take care of. Now, when signing on someone else's behalf, the signature is preceded by p.p. standing for per procurationem. The p.p. is a signal to the reader that someone signed the letter on behalf of another.

Here are some examples of how to use the p.p. designation when signing on someone else's behalf.

p.p. Staff Signature
President's Name

President's Name
p.p. Staff Signature

Check with your employer to learn their preferred method of signing with the p.p. designation.

Other situations when signing on behalf of someone else is necessary are when a real estate agent, investment broker, or lender has the permission to do so.

One of the most common situations regarding signing on someone's behalf is when a person is too ill to handle their own affairs. Ideally, people will appoint someone ahead of time to be their power of attorney. A power of attorney means that a person has the legal right to sign any document on behalf of the incapacitated person. When a person passes away and their business affairs need to be tied up, the power of attorney can sign as the deceased.

When a person appointed power of attorney signs the document for another person, it is as if that person signed it themselves. In other words, the document bears the same legal weight when a power of attorney signs as when a person signs the document themselves.

An attorney must prepare the documents giving permission to sign letters on behalf of an incapacitated or deceased person. Only the person granted the power of attorney has the right to sign on behalf of someone else. If any other person attempts to sign on behalf of another without the right to do so, the letter or document is not legally binding.

Any questions on this topic should be referred to an attorney.

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