When an Individual’s Address Doesn’t Work for Purposes of the Introductory Clause

I don’t include in the introductory clause the address of a party that’s a legal entity. That’s because the introductory clause serves to distinguish a given party from any other person or entity with that name. For a legal entity, that’s accomplished by giving its jurisdiction of organization or its registration number; you don’t also need its address. Party addresses might be included in a notices provision, but that’s another matter.

This obviously doesn’t apply to parties that are individuals, and the simplest way to distinguish one John Smith from another is to give John’s address.

But the participants in my seminar for the Oman Ministry of Legal Affairs pointed out to me that in Oman, using an address to identify an individual would be an uncertain proposition, as Omanis use post-office-box mailing addresses. That’s why the seminar participants use instead an individual’s national identification number.

It’s useful to bear in mind that what works in one jurisdiction won’t necessarily work in another.

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.

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