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Can two natural persons sign a contract on a different day?

E.g. Peter lives in a country A, Joe in a country B. Peter signs it in the country A and sends by slow post, no electrically, to Joe. Joe will sign in 10 days later in the country B.

Do there have to be written different dates of signing, the actual ones, on the contract?

context: studying contract law

Thank you.

2 Answers 2

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Can two natural persons sign a contract on a different day?

Yes.

This happens routinely. In general, the contract is formed when the last person signs in this situation (unless the contract says otherwise).

Do there have to be written different dates of signing, the actual ones, on the contract?

No.

It is convenient to note the dates of signing on the contract to simplify proving of what happened if there is every a lawsuit where the dates of signing turn out to be material for some reason (e.g., proving when the contract was entered into for tax purposes). But this is not required by law for the contract to be valid. If the dates of signing are material facts in a later lawsuit, then the dates of signing can be proved with other evidence, such as sworn witness testimony in the course of that lawsuit.

Related Point

Also, the parties to the contract do not need to sign the same physical piece of paper (unless the contract says otherwise). When one person signs one physical signature page and another person signs a different physical signature page for the same contract, this is called "executing the contract in counterparts."

Many contracts expressly authorize the parties to sign the contract in counterparts, but the default rule if the contract is silent on the question is that executing the contract in counterparts is permitted.

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    In Australia, real estate sale contracts are almost exclusively signed in counterparts and often on different days. The “exchange” happens when the last party signs.
    – Dale M
    Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 0:14
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It’s a very common thing to happen. If we live too far apart to both sign in person, it’s quite common that you send me two signed copies of a contract, and I sign one and send it back to you. Maybe the same day, or the next day, or a week later.

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