Business letter: Signing on behalf of someone else.


Switzerland French

Could someone answer a quick question regarding letter format?

What do you write at the end of a letter to indicate that you have been asked to write that letter for someone else (for example, if you are the secretary and you are writing the letter for the director but your name will also be at the bottom of the letter, next to the director's name). I suspect you have to write some abreviation in front of your name, maybe "pp:" (which might be some latin abreviation?) but I can't quite remember. Any idea?

Thanks very much

  • Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    You put "p.p." in front of the name of the person for whom you are writing the letter -- p.p. stands for "per pro" (for and on behalf of).


    A.N. Other [<-- your name]

    p.p. Sam Body-Else [<-- your boss's name]


    Edit: I have just looked this up and Wikipedia says
    Per procurationem (p.p.): Through the agency (of) — used to indicate that a person is signing a document on behalf of another person (correctly placed before the name of the person signing, but often placed before the name of the person on whose behalf the document is signed, sometimes through incorrect translation of the alternative abbreviation "per pro." as "for and on behalf of").
    If that's right, then I have been putting "p.p." in the wrong place all my life!


    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    Silviap, we still haven't settled, though, the matter in front of whose name the per procurationem goes!

    I have also since found one source that suggests that in France a single "p." before the name of the person on whose behalf one is signing suffices: thus a decree will end "P. LE MINISTRE".



    Switzerland French
    Thanks for your help!

    "p.p." in front of the name of the person who is signing on behalf of someone else seems right to me... but I am intrigued now... will have to investigate...!!!



    Senior Member
    One year has gone by... I can't believe it :)

    I think the single p stands for per (pour ou par), anyway p.p. is the correct form.

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Yes, Silvia, it stands for pour in French: pour le ministre.
    It is very commonly used in big companies (pour le directeur, pour le président, etc.). :)


    New Member
    I write letters on behalf of my boss regularly. This is the proper way to do so. You are signing for your boss John Doe. Your name is Jane Doe and you are the Office Manager

    John Doe

    p.p. Jane Doe
    Office Manager

    Hope this helps!
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