What Does /s/ Mean in a Signature and Why is It Used?

November 09, 2020November 09, 2020
What Does /s/ Mean in a Signature and Why is It Used?

The move to the digital era began with the movement of computational power to solve issues like quickly solving mathematics and creating word processing. 

Today, nearly all aspects of our lives are on the computer, and the same goes for businesses. The move to the digital era has made it possible for entire businesses to operate in small spaces and even operate entirely online. 

The transition, however, has not been easy for some, and many business technologies have yet to be phased out. Signatures, faxing, scanners, and landlines are all antiquated business technologies that have yet to become fully phased out. There are plenty of new technological solutions that effectively eliminate the need to keep up with these methods but the adoption rate has been relatively slow, which comes to the detriment of business speed and efficiency. 

When looking at the concept of signatures, it is easy to understand the reasoning as to why e-signatures have yet to have full adoption across the board. 

Everyone has a unique signature, and signatures are an integral part of validating that an individual actually signed and agreed to the terms of the document. The s-signature has become a standard way of electronically signing documents that has become accepted in some use cases. 

Below is a discussion of what the characters /s/ means in a signature line and why it is utilized.

What is a Conformed Signature?

A conformed signature is a typed signature that is utilized to allow for fast and frictionless signing of documents online. A conformed signature replaces the traditional signature line with a typed name preceded with a “/s/” designation. A conformed signature will resemble something like the example below.

/s/ Joe Shmoe

Joe Shmoe

There are many different ways that a conformed signature can be written, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office provides resources to what formatting an electronic signature should follow. 

Different governing bodies have different regulations regarding acceptable formatting for conformed signatures. 

Because of these differences it is important to have a competent and tech savvy legal team like BizCounsel. As a business owner, your signatures are constantly needed, and the ability to utilize a conformed signature whenever possible will save time and effort. 

Having a legal resource that acknowledges the importance of your time and providing e-signatures whenever possible is a must. 

Why Is It Used?

A conformed signature is utilized mainly as a way of making signing contracts and documents easier. Convenience of a conformed signature is what has drawn many to utilize it, and some government agencies now accept it in lieu of a traditional signature. 

The conformed signature eliminates the need for an individual to print, sign, and scan a document to submit it electronically. To save paper and reduce the number of intermediary steps, conformed signatures offer a perfect efficient solution to a signature. 

Conformed signatures allow for a seamless process of viewing, signing, and submitting a document all without having to print or scan. Conformed signatures can be utilized in a number of ways and gives a signer the option to how they are able to digitally sign a document. 

Conformed signatures can be easily done from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device, drastically increasing the speed at which individuals can certify a document. 

Additionally, a conformed signature is a great tool for attorneys to quickly and efficiently certify dozens of documents at once. The U.S. Northern District Court of California is one court that offers the utilization of conformed signatures for attorneys. From the courts website, “all documents submitted under the attorney’s login and password are automatically considered signed by that attorney, so the login and password are considered the attorney’s “electronic signature.”” 

This process allows for countless hours saved for attorneys, giving them the opportunity to focus more energy on their clients, and less time printing, signing, and scanning. 

When the client is prioritized, a lawyer is able to better serve them with the quality guidance they need. 

When Can It Be Ssed?

E-signatures, and more specifically, conformed signatures, are not a full substitute for legal handwritten signatures. The signature itself is not more reliable than a standard signature, and as such, makes the acceptance of e-signatures vary greatly, especially when it comes to geographic location. 

The two regulations regarding e-signatures are the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, which give a basis for the inability to deny a document's validity only on the basis that it has an electronic signature. 

Ultimately, it is the states' decision in whether or not to accept conformed and electronic signatures.

Because these laws vary from state to state and agency to agency, it is important to ensure that a business has legal representation that is well-versed in the process of online signing and document submission. Documents signed inappropriately can lead to costly and time-consuming missteps. In the world of legal filings, this could mean the difference between the closure of a successful business deal or a costly mistake. 

BizCounsel has a team of highly trained and highly diverse lawyers that are able to ensure that your legal documents are as they should be, saving you time, effort, and money. Leave the guesswork out of your legal needs and allow a BizCounsel lawyer guide you through your paperwork. A lawyer will be able to navigate the different signature requirements for different documents and can ensure that they are done correctly to reduce inefficiencies in having to refile for something that was done incorrectly the first time. 


Overall, the “/s/” in a signature line signifies that a conformed signature is being utilized in lieu of a traditional handwritten signature. 

There are many forms of e-signatures and each have specific utilizations and formatting requirements. The s-signature is a great e signature method that can be utilized by many people. 

The ease of use and convenience of the signature type has allowed for businesses and attorneys to waste less precious time and energy printing, signing, and scanning documents, and more time to focus on their clients. 

When looking into getting legal assistance, it is advised to look for lawyers that readily utilize new technology to eliminate inefficiencies. Traditional lawyers are paid by the hour and benefit from time-consuming, antiquated technology. 

For the new wave of legal assistance services like BizCounsel, the business owner’s precious time is valued more than squeezing every last penny out of each hour. 

The utilization of electronic signatures is just one way in which a lawyer is able to save time and facilitate a smoother experience for their clients. Save the legal headaches surrounding what type of signature to use to the professionals. Having BizCounsel as a part of your team is a sure way to increase efficiency and simultaneously increase the legal competency of your business


Add a BizCounsel Approved Attorney to your team today!