Purchase order sent by e-mail: is it valid?
Thread poster: Mihai Badea (X)

Mihai Badea (X)  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Feb 11, 2005

Dear colleagues,

I have the following situation and I don’t know how to handle it.

I have a new client with good ratings on Blue Board. I asked them a PO and they told me they would prefer not to send a PO because this is a large project involving many languages and it would be very difficult to send a PO to every translator for every job. I insisted on receiving a PO by fax and they said: OK, we'll send it. They tried twice, but due to a problem to their fax machine, I didn’t receive the fax. They explained me the situation and sent me the PO by e-mail, in TIF format. It is stamped and signed and it includes all the necessary information. Considering the way it was sent (by e-mail), my question would be: is this a proper PO? Is it legally valid?



Saskia Steur (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:20
English to Dutch
+ ...
PO by e-mail Feb 11, 2005

Hi there,
I always get my PO's by e-mail. I have never received PO's in any other way.
It is valid, unless in a court situation the agency would deny having sent you the e-mail, but that seems very unlikely.
Hope this helps,
best wishes,


Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:20
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Insist on PO, but it is OK by email Feb 11, 2005

You were right in insisting on a purchase order, but it is completely normal to be sent as an email attachment. Most of my clients use a simple Word format, others prefer a pdf file. If all the necessary information is there (client name, address, other client details, job number, deadline, amount, etc.), it should be OK.
good luck,


Dr.G.MD (X)

Local time: 08:20
I do not see a problem Feb 12, 2005

I regularly receive them by e-mail, sign and fax the copy back.
And I keep the sending journal. So both parties are protected.
It works, so just go ahead....

Good luck and greetings from Canada,



Scott Li  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 15:20
Member (2005)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Blue Board Rating Feb 12, 2005

A good blue board rating is much better than any form of PO. In nowadays international business world, do you think you will be able to get your money back even if an offical PO is issued and send you by registered mail, if one intends to refuse payment from other country ?

In our office, we even elemintated PO process as it causes a lot of administrative works.

Blue Board is the best tool for the industry.


satish krishna itikela  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:50
Member (2011)
English to Telugu
+ ...
"No problem in receiving my mail" Feb 12, 2005

Dear Mihai Badea,

Don't worry there will be no problem in receiving the PO by mail,generally they do send the PO by mail only.That may be in any format no problem,it is a valid one unless untill all the information is incorporated in it.There is no chance to turn for the client once he sends the PO either by mail or by fax with all necessary information.



Rahi Moosavi  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
Member (2004)
Farsi (Persian) to English
+ ...
PO by email Feb 12, 2005


If it's a first time client and you are not very sure about their payment practices, ask for a PO. I always receive PO's by email and they are simply a word or pdf file containing the agency's full contact information, job details and full desription of rates, total amount and agreed payment terms.

I don't ask for PO's from regular clients but they send it anyhow!



Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:20
English to German
+ ...
Validity Feb 12, 2005

Mihai Badea wrote:

Considering the way it was sent (by e-mail), my question would be: is this a proper PO? Is it legally valid?


Only question is: Which law? But then, most jurisdictions would recognize a PO sent by e-mail as a valid PO. Most jurisdictions even would accept an order by phone as valid - problem is, how to proof.

BTW: Do you think a fax can't be faked?


Mihai Badea (X)  Identity Verified
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
PO by e-mail is OK Feb 12, 2005

Thank you very much for your answers. It seems there is no reason to worry.

The Romanian law recognizes an e-mail if it is electronically signed. I don’t know if a fax can be faked, but I noticed in the contracts I translated that a fax had the same validity as a registered letter. The e-mail was not always mentioned.

I know that Western companies tend to have simplified procedures and I think this is a good thing. I only wanted to have a confirmation that everything was OK with my PO. Thank you for helping me!

[Edited at 2005-02-12 09:22]


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Purchase order sent by e-mail: is it valid?

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