Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Acknowledgement

Quick Summary of Acknowledgement

A formal statement or document recognizing the fulfilment or execution of a legal requirement or procedure.

What is the dictionary definition of Acknowledgement?

Dictionary Definition

A statement made in the presence of a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths, saying that a document with your signature was actually signed by you.

the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged.

  1. British The act of acknowledging; admission; avowal; owning; confession.
  2. British The act of owning or recognizing in a particular character or relationship; recognition as regards the existence, authority, truth, or genuineness.
  3. British An award or other expression or token of appreciation.

Full Definition of Acknowledgement

An acknowledgement is a statement of one’s own action and an acceptance of responsibility. It can also be the declaration used to authenticate a legal instrument which has been duly executed and acknowledged. Acknowledgement involves a public official, frequently a notary public, and is contained at the end of the document in the section where the notary public verifies the signer did, in fact, sign the document.

In most states, this is required for a signatory to be bound by the terms of a contract. A contract cannot be sworn since its purpose is to define a future act and therefore cannot be “true” at the moment of execution. Specific language is required, which is described by its purpose rather than the exact phrase. In New York, an acknowledgement is defined as “executed in the manner required for a deed to be recorded”, the same as a conveyance of title to real property. The acceptable language is:

On the___________day of_________, 2006, before me, the undersigned, personally appeared ( name ), personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual whose name is subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that she/he executed the same in her/his capacity, and that by her/his signature on the instrument, the individual, or the person upon behalf of which the individual acted, executed the instrument.

For Example:

“State of ______, County of ______ (signed and sealed) On ____, 20__, before me, a notary public for the said state, personally appeared _______, personally known to me, or proved to be said person by proper proof, and acknowledged that he executed the above Deed.”

The notary public generally uses a seal or stamp to put their seal on the document. After the document is signed the person who claims the acknowledgement must provide their identification and sign the notary’s journal. Many official forms require an acknowledgement including documents such as deeds, deeds of trust, mortgages applications, powers of attorney that may involve real estate, and some leases. Acknowledgements may also be used to verify other actions such as receipt of payment, goods or services performed.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Acknowledgement. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. May 12, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Acknowledgement. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: May 12, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Acknowledgement. Retrieved May 12, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Acknowledgement are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 18th April, 2020 | 55 Views.