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Derived from the French word allonger, which means to draw out, allonge is a small piece of paper that is appended to some sort of agreement, most often a contract or other form of negotiable instrument. The purpose of the allonge is to provide room for an authorized signature that functions as an endorsement for the document, when there is no space for endorsements on the actual document. Along with space for authoritative signatures that function as additional endorsements, the allonge also often allows room for the high points of the agreement to be reviewed in an abbreviated form.
The allonge is most commonly utilized as a Bill of Exchange. Bills of exchange may include a short recap of the terms of the transaction that is under consideration. In countries where the Code Napoleon is considered the standard for financial and contractual transactions, the allonge functions as a supporting document that makes it clear that both parties understand exactly what is and is not included in the terms of the agreement. In effect, the allonge is one final confirmation or endorsement of the transaction before it goes into effect.
Use of the allonge is not common in countries where a simple signature on a document is considered to be a de facto endorsement of the contents of the agreement. Writing endorsements other than those that are found on the main document are considered unnecessary. However, allonges continue to be a viable part of many international agreements and transactions, even if not all the parties are based in countries where local law requires the use of an allonge. Since the addition of an allonge does not impact the validity of the transaction in countries where the additional slip of paper is not required, companies that wish to do business with other entities that reside where the allonge is considered necessary can do so without any negative effects.