San Jose, CA asked in Business Formation for Arizona

Q: On a limited partnership agreement, are initials required on every page? Or just one signature on the last page?

We believe our General Partner has made changes to the original contract. Because there is only one signature from each partner on the document, at the last page, we don't have any confirmation that we agreed to the earlier pages in the contract. Are all contract pages required to have an initial, or not?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Gerity
Michael Gerity
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: You have just run into one of the main reasons why some contracts have spaces for initials on each page, and sometimes even on each paragraph. The presence of those initials makes it harder for any party to later make modifications to the overall contract (though certainly not impossible in this age of electronic documents). It also makes it harder for a party to claim that they were unaware of the provisions contained on any particular page. This latter reason isn't very meaningful, because the law usually binds the parties to a contract to all of its terms whether or not they bothered to read the contract.

If each page was not initialed, then it simply makes your situation more difficult to prove, and opens the door to arguments about individual terms on particular pages. However, there is rarely any circumstance that mandates initials on each page or invalidates the overall contract if they are missing.

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