Signing and dating legal documents

 Whats the harm?  How do you hold someone responsible for doing something before they knew it was an obligation? Sometimes, the best solution is just to fix the problem.  Ideally, the agreement would be signed when you first started working together, but that didnt happen.  I suggest you have three options: Make it.  Almost anything can be fixed, one way or another, without going to jail.  For example, if the contract is dated today, who owns that portion of the website code that was developed prior to signing the agreement? Somewhere along the way, you realize there is no contract. If you are thinking of rekindling your relationship with an old flame, you came to the wrong place.  In most agreements, using a prior date to make it look like it was signed earlier is the wrong way to go. The fix may be different for different agreements. This Agreement is made and entered into on TODAYS DATE.  This is full disclosure.   Not today, definitely next week.   Or when the parties all sign within a few days of each other (but not exactly on the same date you could use This Agreement is dated as of.  When is backdating okay? This Agreement is executed on TODAYS DATE with the intent that it be effective as of PRIOR DATE.  There it is, the document is signed and delivered as if it were signed and delivered weeks ago, months ago, even years ago.  However, there is no right answer for all situations. A better solution is to disclose the date that the contract was actually signed.  Who will know the difference?  Note to self get contract in writing. The easiest way is to make the contract happen on the date that it is signed.  Not only that, it is easy to make mistakes.  For example, the first payment is due upon signing two months agoexcept the check was never written or deposited in a bank.  You meet with your designer and toss around some ideas.  Now, two months later you prepared a contract that is ready to be signed if you can just figure out the right date.  So, there is no intent to defraud or mislead or misrepresent the true nature of the agreement.  There are some exceptions to the former; none (based on my experience) to the latter.  Perhaps, you dont know exactly what kind of website you need or how much it will cost.  All you have to do is write in a prior date and sign it.  The problem is that it may not work in every situation. So, you paid the designer in full but you dont own the website? However, if there are intellectual property rights, confidentiality obligations or other pre-existing obligations, you may have a problem because any rights arising prior to signing the contract would be lost.  If it is a promissory note, compute the accrued interest prior to signing the note and include it in the principal amount of the note.  Why does it matter?