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As a signor, i've been given multiple requirements in the past. Either, the entire document must be faxed/emailed back including signed signature page. Or, sometimes I'm only required to return the signature page. Is this just various misunderstandings on the part of the document owner or is there some legal reason? Does it depend on the type of document or wording of the contract?

In this case specifically: It is a software licensee agreement where I am both the author and the "Licensor." My Licensee (person I'm licensing the software too) has returned just the signature page. This is part of a larger deal involving the purchase of a business from me (I sold them my business, but retained rights to certain software that I am licensing to them). They have returned the business bill of sale with just the signature page as well.

I'm inclined to say this doesn't matter / is fine. Am I mistaken? Does it depend?

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Returning just the signature page can't possibly be bad for you, if they're the ones signing and returning the signed document to you. If you're signing a document, it's in your best interest to make sure that the document is clearly one atomic unit and that your signature isn't associated with anything that you're not agreeing to.

What's the danger of just returning the last, signed page? Well, what if they substitute a new third page? What if they add a bunch of pages in the middle? Even the alteration of a few words, here and there, might be catastrophic.

Of course - if you have records, witnesses, etc. that can attest to what you actually agreed to, you can use that as evidence that the other party is playing funny with your contract. And the judge and/or jury might even believe you!

Better to sign/initial, number, date, everything, and include a clause requiring that on all pages. It would be easier to prove electronic tampering of a file you give them than to prove tampering on a file you haven't touched.

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