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TL;DR: You could also jump to the last paragraph.

I was interviewed and selected by a software startup in India. Saturday was not a working day for them, but yet their tech VP, product manager and CEO came on Saturday at their new office and interviewed me. The interview process was very mature, they were very polite and even after the interview when I did a background check of the company and didn't find proof of registration of the company on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website, they offered me proof of registration of the company, including the Corporate Identification Number. The company was called X Pvt.Ltd. (this is the company that is registered). They were later called Y and now they are named Z.

They are funded by a reputed company named G, and G's website shows that they are funding company Y. My offer letter mentions the company name as Z (*) and at the bottom of the letter, is the explanation of the asterisk, which goes like X Pvt.Ltd. d/b/a Z. The d/b/a, I understand is "Doing Business As". I also verified the registrations on this website.

The bottom of the offer letter mentions the CEO's name and the letter (pdf format) has been emailed to me by the tech VP via the company Z's email domain name. The offer letter says "Therefore, please confirm your acceptance of terms contained herein by signing and returning a duplicate copy of this letter", so when I spoke to the VP on phone about signatures, he said I was welcome to come to their office on Monday and he'd keep a copy of the letter signed by the CEO, ready for me. He also mentioned that they usually don't follow the procedure of having signatures on the offer letter for new joinee's, and assured me that they trust me and they would honour the offer letter even if it was not signed. Considering that the current company I work for (a very reputed one), had also sent me an offer letter by email when I was a campus recruit, and they had not even expected me to reply with a "yes", and instead just wanted me to send across the document proof they required, can I assume it is safe to just send an email to the startup saying that I accept the offer letter, and then resign from my current job? The notice period is 1.5 months. Is it safe and legally binding to do this via email?

  • There are a lot of facts missing before I could say either way. Is this a contract position, a union or civil service position? Or management? Are you a resident of the same jurisdiction? Where did you originally come in contact with them... From you directly applying with a resume/cv/application? You feel positive this isn't a scam if some kind? If so, are just worried about the signature portion? Does it ask for any highly sensitive info like social security number or identification? – gracey209 Nov 8 '15 at 20:59
  • The offer letter is for a software engineering position. I'm a resident of the same jurisdiction. I applied for the job via LinkedIn. I'm sure it isn't a scam. I'm just worried about the signature portion. No sensitive info is asked for. – Anon Nov 9 '15 at 18:09
  • Then it really depends on whether it's an employment contract or just an engagement letter, and what the laws are regarding at will employment in your area. – gracey209 Nov 9 '15 at 18:12
  • This is under Indian law then? – gracey209 Nov 9 '15 at 19:47
  • Yes. Indian law. – Anon Nov 10 '15 at 8:11
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Yes.

The formation of a contract requires (among other things) that the parties intend to be legally bound. Their sending the offer from a corporate email address shows this. You replying in the same way shows your intention. Signatures are optional.

Consider, verbal contracts are binding; how do you sign those?

  • But of course, they can change their minds, and give you notice to quit before you start. (This happened to me once; they were nice enough to pay me a months salary.) – Martin Bonner Jan 18 '17 at 16:45
  • @MartinBonner they weren't nice- they were legally obliged to give you notice because an employment contract had been formed – Dale M Jan 18 '17 at 20:03
  • There was a three month initial probation with a week's notice. They told me more than a week before I was due to start. No pay required. – Martin Bonner Jan 19 '17 at 6:53
  • A Saturday? They could be anyone. The cleaner or real estate agent may have let them in. – mckenzm May 8 at 4:52

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