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

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 might be in an workplace set-up if you had been anticipated to signal for a senior colleague or boss, or in a private state of affairs if you had been anticipated to signal for a member of the family or buddy.
For the uninitiated, this will look unlawful, however do you know that you may
signal on another person’s behalf as as long as you might be authorised to signal for them? 

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

On this article, we shed extra mild on the best method 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 beneath this class as a forgery. That is primarily based on having the ‘intention to defraud’ somebody. This is applicable even for those who thought you had permission to signal one thing.

Section 253 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) states that falsifying a doc is against the law. 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 definitely’re committing forgery. It’s vital to all the time have the permission of the particular person earlier than you signal on their behalf.

How one can legally signal for another person in Australia?

Totally different paperwork are handled with various levels of seriousness for those who signal for another person. 

As an example, when signing for a parcel from any e-commerce vendor corresponding to eBay, Iconic or Australia Put up, the seller usually lets you signal for another person for those who inform them that you’ve permission to take action. 

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

In different circumstances, corresponding to making use of for a financial institution mortgage or mortgage, the signature must be that of the meant signee. Extra formal paperwork corresponding to a contract for the sale of land require an authentic signature beneath 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 beneath ‘procurement’, with ‘p.p’ standing for ‘procurationem’. 

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

Under your signature will normally be the title and place of the meant signee. In case you are signing one thing formal with the categorical authority of the meant signee, put ‘p.p’ earlier than your signature, as it would 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.

How one can use a Energy of Legal professional to Signal a Doc 

A Energy of Legal professional is a authorized doc that enables an assigned particular person to signal on behalf of an individual who’s incapacitated, medically unfit or deceased. It might additionally turn out to be 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 chosen lawyer/employees in case of corporations. 

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

Digital signatures (eSignatures) are widespread nowadays, with many platforms providing eSignature instruments on-line free of charge. 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 great distance in lowering incidences of fraud. Nevertheless, when you’ve got entry to somebody’s eSignature, it’s essential to nonetheless solely use it the place you’ve gotten that particular person’s permission. As long as you’ve gotten the authority given to you in writing, you’ll be capable of reveal 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 vital to know the authorized significance it carries. That is particularly the case the place you’re signing for another person or for those who’re their energy of lawyer. 

It’s because you’re making choices for that particular person, and your judgment must mirror what’s in the very best pursuits of that particular person. Even for those who’re merely utilizing ‘p.p’ within the absence of the meant signee, it’s nonetheless clever to know what you’re attaching your title to. 

Be sure you learn the doc in entrance of you, and ask the meant signee if there’s something that you just’re not sure about. While signing for another person has turn out to be much less widespread, you may nonetheless must sometimes. So long as you’re signing with the permission of the meant signee, then it’s authorized to signal for them apart from some paperwork which carry a higher authorized significance (corresponding to Wills). 

In case you are not sure whether or not you’ve gotten the authorized proper to signal one thing, verify with the particular person you might be signing for or seek the advice of a lawyer.