Contract Signatory: What is it and How to Set it Up

January 15, 2024

Our contract signatory resource guides you on setting up the signing process, explains the differences between contract signatory types, and the criteria that need fulfilling to sign contracts.

James Fyfe
Co-founder - CEO

Imagine for a moment that you are in the middle of closing a massive business deal. Now, you've walked through the intricate nuances of the transaction, finally agreed on the contract, and it's finally time to sign. 

What happens next is as critical as the process that brought you to this point. Understanding what a contract signatory is, who is authorized to sign it, establishing the authorized signatory, 

and how to perform this task is important to ensuring the solidity of any agreement.

In this article, we will go through all these points, and even more so you won’t ever have to guess their role in contract signing

What is a Contract Signatory? 

Contract signatory refers to any individual or a representative of an organization who signs an agreement or contract manifesting the intent to become bound by its terms. This person plays a vital role in upholding the conditions stipulated in the contract, thereby solidifying the agreement.

In the past, signatory was used as a term for signed conventions or treaties between countries, but nowadays, it is used for the signing aspect of contractual agreements.

What is a Co-Signatory? 

As the name implies, a co-signatory is a person who signs an official document, such as a loan, with another person.

While not always present, it sometimes is present in certain situations. 

In simple terms, it serves as an additional layer of assurance. 

The co-signatory often acts as insurance, promising to pay the debt if the first signer cannot or refuses to do so. This arrangement is typical in financial transactions like home loans, car loans, or credit card applications.

What is an Authorized Signatory? 

An authorized signatory is an individual expressly permitted by an organization or company to sign essential documents on its behalf. This designation bestows upon them the authority to sign legally binding contracts, enter agreements, or perform other critical actions on behalf of the company. 

Common examples of authorized signatories include the following:

  • CEO, 
  • Managing director, 
  • Board members,
  • Attorneys acting in the company's interest.

Key Differences Between a Contract Signatory and Authorized Signatory

While both a contract signatory and an authorized signatory play significant roles in formal agreements and declarations, it is crucial to distinguish one for the other. 

A contract signatory refers to the individuals or organizations party to an agreement. They are expected to uphold the terms and conditions put forth in the contract.

Contrarily, an authorized signatory is the individual that a company or organization has set up to sign legally binding contracts on its behalf. This individual doesn’t have to be part of the contract per se, but they have the power to tie the company to the terms of any contract they sign.

What Criteria Does a Signatory Need to Meet to Sign Legal Documents?

The criteria for an individual to qualify as a contract signatory are generally straightforward. 

The individual must meet the stipulations to ensure the legal standing and validity of their signature on the document. 

These criteria often revolve around legal obligations, authorization, and, in some cases, the specific contractual matters.

Set Up a Signatory and Sign Contracts Using Portant

Portant provides a seamless solution for setting up and managing signatories and executing contracts.

Use Portant’s Contract Template

Portant's Non-Disclosure Agreement Template

Portant streamlines the contract creation process by providing a library of pre-built contract templates. This feature significantly expedites the process, saving users valuable time that would otherwise be spent drafting contracts from scratch. 

With Portant’s contract template, you can access a professionally crafted document tailored to various business needs, which at the same time is also customizable. 

Set Up a Signatory

Portant allows users to set up a signatory effortlessly using variables within the template. This innovative approach not only enhances efficiency but also ensures accuracy in capturing the necessary details for the signing parties. 

The use of variables simplifies the customization of contracts, making it easy to adapt to specific requirements.

Deliver Contracts to All Parties

Portant's Contract Delivery Workflow

Portant's capabilities go beyond mere contract creation. Its advanced contract workflow features enable users to seamlessly deliver contracts to all involved parties. 

The platform facilitates a smooth and traceable distribution process via email, ensuring that the relevant stakeholders receive the contract promptly. You can connect your official company email to the platform and initiate the contract automation process which will take care of distributing the legal documents to the parties involved. 

By leveraging Portant's contract workflow, you eliminate the complexities associated with manual distribution. This not only saves time but also improves communication and collaboration among the parties involved in the agreement. 

Portant acts as a centralized hub, streamlining the entire process from creation to delivery.

Adding Digital Signatures

Portant's E-Sign Feature

The final crucial step in the contract execution process involves creating signatures. Portant incorporates a professional electronic signature feature that ensures secure and legally compliant signing. This feature simplifies the signing process, making it efficient and reliable.

Portant's e-Sign contract functionality also provides a secure environment for signing contracts digitally. This not only contributes to the overall signing process but also increases the security of the signatures. 

The platform adheres to legal standards, ensuring that digital signatures hold the same weight as traditional pen-and-paper signatures.


Understanding the roles of contract signatories and authorized signatories is important in the business world. The careful selection and establishment of these roles contribute to the smooth execution of agreements and the protection of the interests of all parties involved. 

Leveraging technology, such as Portant’s e-signature functionality, improves the efficiency and security of the contracting process, ensuring a reliable and legally sound foundation for business dealings.

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