Start Backdating documents legal

Backdating documents legal

Ideally, the agreement would be signed when you first started working together, but that didn’t happen.

Commercially it is useful to have matters set out in writing so that there is certainty as to the existence of an arrangement and as to what the terms are.

Setting out in writing what is agreed prevents disputes as to what the terms of the agreement were – although there may be disputes on how those terms are to be interpreted!

For example, if the contract is dated today, who owns that portion of the website code that was developed prior to signing the agreement? So, you paid the designer in full but you don’t own the website?

Yes, that’s the problem and that’s when backdating comes in.

In general, “backdating” should be avoided, whether we are talking contracts or old flames. Yes, I know businesses do it all the time but that doesn’t mean it is good business practice; and in many cases it may be considered fraud or misrepresentation. For example, the first payment is due upon signing two months ago…except the check was never written or deposited in a bank. So, there is no intent to defraud or mislead or misrepresent the true nature of the agreement.

There are some exceptions to the former; none (based on my experience) to the latter. All you have to do is write in a prior date and sign it. In most agreements, using a prior date to make it look like it was signed earlier is the wrong way to go. The problem is that it may not work in every situation.

Parties may be tempted to ‘back date’ the documents to when their plans were devised or agreed.

However doing so is at very least misleading and deceptive conduct (because the date of a document means the date that it is signed), and at worst may constitute criminal fraud.

Read each paragraph and consider what it means if you sign the agreement today.

For example, if the agreement requires the assignment of intellectual property rights (past, present and future), why not just use The fix may be different for different agreements.

The most common transaction that must be in writing is contracts and declarations of trust that convey an interest in land.