Everything You Need to Know about Authorized Signatories

Authorized Signatories - Learn everything you need to know about Authorized Signatories in this in-depth guide.
Last updated on:
July 09, 2023
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Implementing a fast and efficient contracting process is a must in today’s market. Why? Everything is faster. If your company can’t keep up, you risk falling behind. Allocating authorized signatories (AKA signing officers), and switching to a digital process are two easily implementable ways to keep your business ahead of the curve.  

A poor contracting process can lead to costly project delays, misunderstandings, frustration, and in the worst cases, lost clients. Delegating signing power to trusted authorized signatories is a great way to avoid paperwork bottlenecks. You can further optimize your process by implementing an online contract management platform like SignHouse. On a platform like this, you can set up your authorized signatories with e-signatures and allow them to efficiently and securely sign and finalize critical business documents. 

In this article, we’ll dive into what authorized signatories are, why they’re important and how to set up your authorized signers on a platform like SignHouse. so you can start streamlining your contract management system today!

What is an Authorized Signatory?

An authorized signatory is someone who has been given the right to sign binding agreements on behalf of an organization. The permission to sign these binding documents is normally granted by someone who’s in a position of authority, like a director, or those in organizational roles, like managers. 

A designated signatory can act as an agent for both specific and general purposes. However, no matter their area of expertise, they are always expected to represent and advocate for the organization’s best interests. Overall, authorized signers will help you ensure contract negotiations aren’t delayed and help streamline your document management flow. 

The Different Types of Authorized Signatories

As we’ve touched on, authorized signatories can act as an agent for a specific or general purpose within an organization. The industry of the organization will also affect the different types of signatories that may exist in a company’s structure. 

Typically, types of authorized signatories are determined by their industry, department and role. Some common types of authorized signatories include:

Corporate/Company Authorized Signatory

A company designated signatory is a person who has been granted the right to sign general official business documents on behalf of the organization as a whole. This type of authorized signer is usually a director or very high-ranking employees.   

Corporate signing officers usually deal with legally binding documents that may affect the entire organization, or at the very least, a specific project. 

Trading Authorization on Investment Accounts

Authorized traders are brokers or agents who have received a certain level of authority from a client or investor to trade on their behalf. Trading authorization usually occurs when an individual or organization decides to employ financial professionals for specific financial advice and investment activities. 

Much like a corporate authorized signatory, an authorized trader will act in the best interest of their client’s investments, and their signature will push forward and streamline central business activities.  

Bank Account Signatory

An authorized signatory on a bank account is someone who has been appointed equal rights to an account as the listed account holders. This usually happens when there is a need for someone else to manage or monitor the day-to-day activities of that account . 

The authority to complete activities like signing checks, checking the account balance and accessing the transaction history are all given to this type of bank account signatory. 

Why Having An Authorized Signatory is Important?

As contracts become more complex and the volume of your business activities grows, your organization will need a coherent and streamlined signing process. There are two central ways to do this:

  1. Appointing relevant authorized signatories.
  2. Digitizing your contracting process through a program like SignHouse. Employing a digital process will not only keep your process efficient, but will ensure your organization collates, secures and finalizes documents all in one easily manageable place.

More specifically, employing these steps will:

Add Convenience 

Appointing authorized signatories helps you avoid a paperwork bottleneck. 

Rather than overwhelming a single signatory with constant documents to sign, you can easily delegate specific signing authorization to other competent employees. This allows for more time and energy to be delegated into important management activities, and helps to avoid organizational administrative delays (and unhappy clients)!

Protect Your Accounts

Authorized signers are expected to make decisions in the best interest of your company and its goals. By appointing the most suitable and knowledgeable account signatories, you can trust your organization’s accounts will be in safe, specialized hands.  

Ensures an Efficient Process for the Execution of Documents

Adopting a digitized document management process allows your authorized signatories to delegate more time and effort towards more important duties. You’ll cut down time spent on the administration of these business transactions and help avoid delays in key business activities. 

Digital contract processing also helps your account signatories to protect and secure your organization’s accounts. Any documents sent via a digital platform, like SignHouse, are sent directly to the specific required signees. They also ensure an electronic audit trail is recorded so any future disputes concerning the validity of these documents can be traced back to these electronic trails and quickly settled.

How to Set Up a Signatory With an eSignature 

After you have determined who your authorized signatories are and have chosen to implement a digital contracting process, it’s time to set up their digitized signatures with your chosen software.

Digital signatures are legally binding and need to either be:

  1. Generated through a software like SignHouse – it’s free! 
  2. Uploaded as an image file to a platform like SignHouse (make sure it has a white or transparent background).

Your authorized signatories can then apply these e-signatures to digital files like Word, PDF or Google Docs and quickly send them back to any and all relevant parties.  

For most organizations, generating a digitized signature through a software like SignHouse is the easier, more straightforward option. It promotes less clicks, less steps and less administration, so your organization can streamline how you send, share and appoint signees to different documents.

How to Set Up a Signatory in SignHouse?

1. Create your eSignature with the Free Generator

Take advantage of SignHouse’s free digital signature generator. This function allows you to create a digital image file of your e-signature. You’ll have the choice to type it, draw it by hand using your mouse, or using one of SignHouse’s pre-existing fonts.

Now your digital signature is ready to download, save and use on Sign House!

2. Upload your Legally Binding eSignature to Your Documents

SignHouse supports all major file types including Word Documents and PDFs. To sign these with a legally binding e-signature, you’ll need to upload your document as either a Word or PDF document to SignHouse. Simply click the ‘Upload’ box on the left-hand side.

3. Add Your eSignature to Your Document

Now that your document is uploaded and presented in front of you, it’s time to add your digitally generated e-signature. Click the ‘Signature’ block on the left hand side of your document. A window will appear that gives you an option to type, draw or upload an e-signature.

You want to choose ‘Upload’ to use your authorized signatory e-Signature. This will ensure consistency and security across your documents.

4. Place your e-Signature on Your Document 

Now that you have uploaded your e-signature, you can place it on the document wherever it needs to go. Your document is now signed and ready to be shared to any and all relevant parties! 

Are You Ready to Appoint Your Authorized Signatories?

Appointing authorized signatories within your organization is an easily implementable step you can take to make sure your contract processing is efficient. Choosing people who are knowledgeable and trustworthy within their specialization will relieve pressure and help to secure your accounts. Plus, you’ll avoid unnecessary administrative delays in day-to-day business activities. 

A great way to support the efficiency of your authorized signatories (and yourself!) is to implement a digitized contracting process, like SignHouse. Easily set up your authorized signatories with their e-signatures and start uploading, signing and finalizing your documents with security and ease. Sign up today and see how we can streamline your eSigning process!


Are your electronic signatures legal?

Our signatures are 100% legally binding, as SignHouse is built around US and International Laws concerning digital signatures. SignHouse eSignatures are on par with paper signatures, from a legal point of view!

Signing papers digitally started being equal to physical, handwritten signatures in the U.S. eSignature Act of 2000 (U.S. Federal Act) + the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA). As a consequence, laws in other countries have followed suit. SignHouse is built around these laws.

Can a signature be typed?

Your signature 100% works and is 100% legal if it's typed, if you're using an electronic signature software!

Why? It's validity is given by other factors: 

  • As per the eSignature (2000) and UETA (2000) Acts passed by the US Government, alongside other requirements (explained in-depth by us here), one of them is this: “Attribution. The signature has to be uniquely identified to the signee and only linked to them”
  • Using an electronic signature software such as SignHouse automatically handles that, as such apps easily attribute signatures with identifiable details (e.g. account information, location, IP, etc)
  • Another requirement for a digital signature to be valid: “Retention. The documents must be stored for future reference, available to be viewed, reviewed, edited, etc. by both parties”
  • SignHouse takes care of this aspect as well.

Therefore, typing your signature makes it valid, due to the aspects that an eSignature software handles for you.

Can an electronic signature be added to a PDF form?

Yes! To do so, follow this process:

  1. Upload the PDF form to SignHouse;
  2. Turn your handwritten signature into an electronic one (free);
  3. Simply put it on the PDF form.

Can cheques be digitally signed?

Yes. All you have to do is upload the cheque, select your signature (it's free), and add it to the document.

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