What Is Antedate?

An antedate is a date entered on a legal contract or check that is prior to the actual date of occurrence.

Also known as "backdate."

Understanding Antedate

Antedate is a term used broadly to mean predated or preceding a specified event, occurrence or era in time. In the financial markets, there are several dates associated with an investment that may be considered a type of antedate.

Important Antedates

Since an antedate refers to any date preceding a specific occurrence, it can generally be a category for several important dates associated with various types of investments. In stock investing the day of trading prior to the ex-dividend date may be considered an antedate. Since the term ex-dividend means without a dividend, an investor is required to own or buy shares by the end of the trading day prior to the ex-dividend date to receive the company’s dividend.

Other antedates may occur in the options or futures market. Since options and futures offer an investor the chance to obtain rights either up to or on the date of expiration, any date prior to expiration may be considered an antedate. In an American option, the option owner has the right to exercise the option on any antedate prior to expiration. In the futures market, the holder of a futures contract is obligated to exercise the transaction. In both options and futures, the day prior to expiration may also be known as an important antedate since many holders choose to sell contracts.

Antedated Examples

Antedating documentation and legal contracts are another realm of financial transactions in which antedates may be used. There are instances where antedating may be a part of the procedural requirements leading up to final execution. In other cases, antedating may be illegal and should be done with caution.

Certain types of agreements benefiting several associated parties may require antedated signatures as part of a transactional process. In some situations certain parties or beneficiaries may be required to provide signatures with antedates that precede final execution. In these situations there may be an order of agreement that must be adhered to with processional antedates that lead up to a final execution date.

In some cases, antedates may also be used illegally to provide advantageous benefits to certain parties involved. Situations, where illegal antedating may be used, can include antedating company stock options to provide an advantageous price or antedating documents past a specified due date that provides an associated party with advantageous benefits.