Initialing Each Page of a Contract

Here’s what I understand of the practice of having those signing a contract also initial each page of the contract:

  • It’s commonplace in wills, apparently as a check against substitution of pages.
  • It’s required by statute in the case of some contracts. For example, under Ohio Revised Code 1349.55, each page of a contract providing for a non-recourse civil litigation advance must be initialed by the consumer.
  • With respect to business contracts, in the U.S. it would be unusual for the parties to initial each page, except in the case of real-estate contracts.
  • In Europe, it’s commonplace for the parties to a business contract to initial each page.

Readers, please tell me more, including with respect to jurisdictions outside the U.S. When do you have the parties initial each page, and why?

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.