However, it can be permissible under certain circumstances.
For instance, one may backdate an insurance claim if there was an unavoidable delay between the date the insured event occurred and the day the claim was made.
The best way to achieve this is to state openly in the document that it is recording an earlier oral agreement made on, and so is with effect from, a particular date and then date it the actual date it was signed.
The position is then clear to all who subsequently look at the document.
For obvious reasons, any request to backdate a document for these reasons should be flatly turned down.
Is the client a longstanding one who has always acted properly in the past? These are questions he will probably be asked by the judge or regulator if things go wrong and to which he will need convincing answers.
In theory, this would appear on the face of it to be a reasonable request, as it is just a private arrangement between two parties.
The argument is obviously not valid if the transaction is one which is required by law to be in writing such as a transfer of land.
In the context of mutual funds, a feature allowing fundholders to use an earlier date on a letter of intent to invest in a mutual fund in exchange for a reduced sales charge, e.g.
Giving retroactive value to purchases from the earlier date.