How Should I Sign Business Agreements, Contracts, and Other Documents?

Your signature should convey to the other party or parties to the document that you have the authority to sign on behalf of your business entity, and that you are in fact doing so, rather than signing on your own behalf. If you fail to indicate that you are signing in your capacity as an officer, member, or manager of the company, you could be exposed to personal liability if something goes wrong. A proper signature block for a corporation looks like this:

Native Flowers, Inc.

By:______________________________ (your signature goes on this line)
      Mark Jones, President

A proper signature block for a member-managed limited liability company looks like this:

Wild Widgets, LLC

By:_____________________________ (your signature goes on this line)
      Amy Smith, Member

A proper signature block for a manager-managed limited liability company looks like this:

Catering and More,LLC

By:_____________________________ (your signature goes on this line)
      John Doe, Manager

Typically, for a corporation, you would sign with your name and title, such as "Mary Doe, President". For a limited liability company, you would sign with your name and title, such as "John Doe, Manager," or "Jane Smith, Member." In addition, the entity's name should be above your signature line, and the word "By:" should precede your signature.

It is a good practice to check any invoices and contracts you receive to make sure that they are in the name of your business entity as opposed to your personal name or any "doing business as" name, that they are mailed to the business' address, and that any signature required is in the above format. If a vendor or contractor does not know that your business is an entity, as opposed to a sole proprietorship, you could be personally liable to them. It is your responsibility to make sure they are aware of your business entity.

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