September 26, 2023


Learn Business From Experience

How To Signal on Somebody Else’s Behalf Legally [2023 Update]

5 min read

Have you ever ever discovered your self in a state of affairs the place you had been anticipated to signal on another person’s behalf, however weren’t certain if it was authorized or not? It could be in an workplace set-up while you had been anticipated to signal for a senior colleague or boss, or in a private state of affairs while you had been anticipated to signal for a member of the family or pal.
For the uninitiated, this may occasionally look unlawful, however do you know that you could
signal on another person’s behalf as as long as you’re authorised to signal for them? 

Though handwritten signatures aren’t used almost as typically as they was once, in cases the place they’re required, authenticity is taken very critically. 

On this article, we shed extra mild on the correct option to signal for another person in addition to share the ins and outs of when this isn’t acceptable. 

Learn alongside. 

When does signing for another person turn out to be unlawful?

Signing a doc as another person with out that particular person’s permission falls underneath this class as a forgery. That is primarily based on having the ‘intention to defraud’ somebody. This is applicable even in case you thought you had permission to signal one thing.

Section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that falsifying a doc is a criminal offense. Additional, it’s punishable by 10 years imprisonment. There are comparable provisions within the legal laws of different states. If the opposite particular person is unaware that you just’re signing one thing for them and also you’re gaining one thing, then you definately’re committing forgery. It’s essential to at all times have the permission of the particular person earlier than you signal on their behalf.

The way to legally signal for another person in Australia?

Completely different paperwork are handled with various levels of seriousness in case you signal for another person. 

For example, when signing for a parcel from any e-commerce vendor equivalent to eBay, Iconic or Australia Publish, the seller usually permits you to signal for another person in case you inform them that you’ve permission to take action. 

They could ask you to current identification nevertheless to show your identification. 

In different circumstances, equivalent to making use of for a financial institution mortgage or mortgage, the signature must be that of the supposed signee. Extra formal paperwork equivalent to a contract for the sale of land require an unique signature underneath the Statute of Frauds. Nevertheless, these may be signed by another person with permission.

In essence, you may signal legally utilizing two strategies. 

  1. Utilizing a ‘p.p’
  2. Utilizing a Energy of Legal professional

What’s ‘p.p’ and when ought to I exploit it?

In firm paperwork or extra formal correspondence, the prefix ‘p.p’ is written earlier than the signature of the one that is to signal on another person’s behalf. This signifies that the doc is being signed underneath ‘procurement’, with ‘p.p’ standing for ‘procurationem’. 

Per procurationem is Latin for ‘via the company of’, signifying an acknowledgement that one other particular person is signing the doc, however that they’re doing so with authorisation. 

Beneath your signature will often be the title and place of the supposed signee. If you’re signing one thing formal with the categorical authority of the supposed signee, put ‘p.p’ earlier than your signature, as it should advise the reader that you’re signing on another person’s behalf.


You’re employed for a lawyer who’s presently in Court docket. They should ship an pressing letter to a solicitor which must be hand-delivered to make sure receipt. The lawyer has requested you to signal for them, above their title and place title on the finish of the letter. You write ‘p.p’ within the signature area and signal your title after it. This validates the letter, in informing the reader the letter has been signed on behalf of the lawyer with authorisation.

The way to use a Energy of Legal professional to Signal a Doc 

A Energy of Legal professional is a authorized doc that permits an assigned particular person to signal on behalf of an individual who’s incapacitated, medically unfit or deceased. It could additionally come in useful when the unique signee is travelling or has entrusted the POA holder to signal on their behalf. 

In Australia, the Energy of Legal professional can differ from one state to a different and may be held by a member of the family or a delegated lawyer/employees in case of corporations. 

Can Digital Signatures (eSignatures) be used to signal on behalf of somebody? 

Digital signatures (eSignatures) are frequent lately, with many platforms providing eSignature instruments on-line without cost. Whether or not this be by the use of a picture of an individual’s signature, merely typing an individual’s title, or utilizing an eSignature platform, in some ways, eSignatures have eliminated the necessity for somebody to signal on one other’s behalf. 

This has additionally, in flip, gone a good distance in decreasing incidences of fraud. Nevertheless, you probably have entry to somebody’s eSignature, you could nonetheless solely use it the place you could have that particular person’s permission. As long as you could have the authority given to you in writing, you’ll have the ability to exhibit that you just used the eSignature of one other personally and legally.

By no means signal your title to something with out studying it first

When including your signature to one thing, it’s essential to grasp the authorized significance it carries. That is particularly the case the place you’re signing for another person or in case you’re their energy of legal professional. 

It’s because you’re making selections for that particular person, and your judgment must mirror what’s in one of the best pursuits of that particular person. Even in case you’re merely utilizing ‘p.p’ within the absence of the supposed signee, it’s nonetheless smart to grasp what you’re attaching your title to. 

Be sure you learn the doc in entrance of you, and ask the supposed signee if there’s something that you just’re not sure about. While signing for another person has turn out to be much less frequent, you would possibly nonetheless must once in a while. So long as you’re signing with the permission of the supposed signee, then it’s authorized to signal for them aside from some paperwork which carry a better authorized significance (equivalent to Wills). 

If you’re not sure whether or not you could have the authorized proper to signal one thing, test with the particular person you’re signing for or seek the advice of a lawyer.

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