Your employer is far too busy to draft and sign letters all day. Therefore, they’ve appointed you for the task. But what are the legal ramifications of this? Are there any ways to ensure that there can be no accusations of fraud?
In this article, we’ll discuss how to legally sign a letter on behalf of your boss using 5 popular methods.
Is It Legal to Sign a Letter on Behalf of Someone Else?
It is legal to sign a letter and most other documents on behalf of another person as long as they have given you express and informed permission.
This would generally mean that they must have a clear awareness of the content of the specific letter or document. If they know what’s in the letter and approve of it, your signing of it will be legally binding.
However, anything you sign beyond the scope of their permission will not be legal. In other words, you can only get express approval for a specific letter. Alternatively, your boss could grant you the general legal power to sign documents on their behalf, such as a power of attorney.
Furthermore, employees are expected to follow several guidelines when signing their boss’s correspondence. Essentially, you have to make it clear that you have signed on another person’s behalf somehow.
So, how can you sign a letter for your boss correctly? We’ll show you 5 examples of how to do this below!
5 Ways to Sign a Letter on Behalf of Someone Else
You can safely and legally sign a letter on someone else’s behalf using any of the methods below:
- Per procurationem (P.P.)
- Symbol “F”
- “On behalf of”
- Slash initials
- Power of attorney (POA)
1. Per Procurationem (P.P.)
The phrase per procurationem comes from Latin and can be translated to “by the agency of” or “on the instruction of.”
Therefore, using this phrase or the initials p.p. lets the receiver of the letter know that it was written or signed by someone other than your boss. It also makes it clear that the content of the letter has been approved by them.
The per procurationem initials can be used either before or after your employer’s name. However, it is essential to include their name in the letter itself.
So, let’s see how to sign off a letter on behalf of someone else using a p.p. signature:
Dear Mr. Hernandez,
I regret to inform you that your application for a new stop sign has been rejected due to conflicting traffic bylaws in the area.
Councilor Pam Henson
p.p. [Employees signature]
2. Symbol “F”
You can use the symbol F in a letter you have drafted on behalf of your employer to let the receiver know you played some part in its creation.
The F stands for “for,” and essentially tells the reader that you have signed for someone else. This method may not be the best choice, since most people won’t know what the F means. Furthermore, it would be just as effective to write “for” our completely.
Nevertheless, on occasions when your boss is too busy to write a letter and permits you to do so on their behalf, you can add this symbol to cover your bases.
Check out the example below:
Dear Ms. Macadam,
We have received your complaint and would like to inform you that an investigation has been initiated.
F: Alyssa Wood (HR)
3. “On Behalf Of”
The simplest way to cover your legal bases when signing a letter on behalf of your boss is to make it clear that you’re signing for them in the signature section.
You can do this by writing your name and then writing on behalf of followed by your employer’s name. This tells the receiver in plain English that you drafted the letter on your employer’s behalf and, by implication, with their permission.
Let’s see an example making use of this method:
Dear Miss Labistour,
An updated version of your contract is attached below for you to consider.
Please contact the front office if you have any questions.
Blake Mill, on behalf of Mrs. Jade Wendy
4. Slash Initials
For letters that have little to no legal consequences, you can simply write your employer’s name and then your initials after a slash (/).
This method is not as clear as the p.p. signature or “on behalf of” methods. However, it’s a safe option to go with when there is unlikely to be any dispute regarding the content of the letter.
Thus, let’s look at how to end a letter using slash initials:
Dear Mr. Belphram,
This letter confirms receipt of your order made on 12 January 2023.
Your items will be delivered within 10 business days from the date of receipt of this letter.
Franklin Smurf, Manager / L.P.
5. Power of Attorney (POA)
The most efficient way to sign documents for your employer with impunity is to acquire power of attorney.
If you have been granted power of attorney, any document you sign on behalf of your boss will be treated as if it were signed by them directly.
Nonetheless, you should still make it clear that you are signing on another’s behalf in your capacity as your boss’s “agent” or “attorney-in-fact.” You can do this by writing the name of your employer followed by, by (your name).
Thereafter, you can add as POA or as Power of Attorney to indicate your legal authority to sign on your employer’s behalf.
Consider the example below:
Dear Ms. Henriques,
As regards our previous agreement, I have dedicated a small portion of my property to your charitable pursuits.
by Jennifer Horton as POA