Signing a Letter on Someone Else’s Behalf


If you are involved with a company that sends out multiple letters to different government agencies, vendors, clients or prospective clients, it’s probably not feasible to have each document personally signed by the sender after the documents have been prepared by a secretary or staff. In these cases, a third party can sign on someone else’s behalf.

Simple Correspondence Signatures

Simple letters are often sent out by companies to request the same thing from multiple clients. If you are sending out these type of letters to make the same request from all of your customers or clients, you can use a signature stamp or the initials, “p.p.” This is a Latin phrase for “per procurationem,” which means “to take care of something.” It should be used if you are an employee who is signing your signature on a form.

Procedure and Methods

There are a number of methods that can be used when writing “p.p.” It can be placed in front of your signature or above the sender’s printed name. In addition, you can also sign the form and print the name of the sender above your signature. In this instance, you would place the “p.p.” before your signature.

Whichever method you decide to choose, it should become standardized so that you use the same method all of the time. This consistency will make it easier to avoid misunderstandings if more than one employee is signing letters for another party.

Power of Attorney Signatures

You can also use a power of attorney to execute a signature on someone else’s behalf. The law allows you to continue financial or legal activities by using this method.

If someone gives you the power of attorney to sign for them, you would sign the person’s name first and follow it with your own. This would be accompanied by the word “by,” which should be placed underneath or to the side of the person’s name that you are signing for. After your signature, you should write the initials “POA” or “power of attorney.”

As an example, if the name of the person you are signing for is Joe Jackson and your name is Blake Smith, you would write “Joe Jackson by Blake Smith, power of attorney.” In some cases, you will need to attach the forms that show you have the power of attorney designation.

Parents and Guardians Signatures

In some states, minors cannot be held legally liable to a contract. In situations where a minor is involved and you are their parent or guardian — release forms or bank accounts — you may need to sign on their behalf.

To do this as a parent or guardian, you would sign their signature, include the phrase “for and on behalf of,” and then sign the name of the minor. The signature or printed name of the minor may also be required on this type of document.

When you use these steps to sign on another person’s behalf, you’ll be following best practices and contract law.