Suppliers are not ill advised. When they have a contractor execute a credit application so the contractor can procure materials on credit, they generally include a personal guarantee in the credit application. This way they have both the company that ordered the materials and the personal guarantor jointly and severally liable in the event they are not paid for the materials. Suppliers want this personal guarantee as added security because they oftentimes supply materials on credit (to a job site) through an ongoing account so that their contractor customer can have the materials ordered to perform a scope of work.
Personal guarantors sometimes try to be clever with the way they sign the personal guarantee in order to avoid any personal liability through the personal guarantee. But, not so fast…“Florida law is clear that an individual who executes a guarantee as an officer of a corporation by inserting his corporate title after his name on a document cannot defeat the purpose of the guarantee when, by its terms, the document contains provisions for individual liability.” Great Lakes Products, Inc. v. Wojciechowski, 878 So.2d 418, 419 (Fla. 3d DCA 2004); see also Nelson v. Ameriquest Technologies, Inc., 739 So.2d 161, 164 (Fla. 3d DCA 1999) (“The fact that Nelson added the letters “V.P.” after his signature could not defeat the obvious and clear purpose of the guaranty agreement; that is, to impose individual liability upon him as the signor.”).
When signing a personal guarantee, make sure you understand its implications, particularly that of personal liability in the event the company does not pay or otherwise honor the terms of the agreement. You are agreeing to become jointly and severally liable with the company to pay for any potential outstanding debt.
Please contact David Adelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.