Provided That (Best Overview: Definition And Concrete Examples)

Provided That (Best Overview Definition And Concrete Examples)

What does provided that mean?

How do you use provided that in legal writing and contracts?

What’s the difference with providing that?

We define “provided that”, look at how it is used in contracts and legal writing, the different meanings it could have, compare it to the phrase “providing that” and look at concrete examples to better understand it.

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What does “provided that” mean

Provided that meaning

Provided that is a phrase commonly used in law appearing in statutes, regulations, contracts, policy documents, protocols, legal writings and official documents.

Depending on how it is employed, it can have different meanings such as:

  1. On the condition that 
  2. With the exception that
  3. If 
  4. Only if
  5. As long as 

Provided that definition

The phrase provided that is typically used in plain English to introduce a condition, a limitation or an exception.

In legal writing, it will also be used to qualify something, a contractual provision or legal obligation.

For example:

John will sign the contract provided that Suzy makes the initial deposit by tomorrow before noon

This can be rewritten as:

John will sign the contract only if or as long as Suzy makes the initial deposit by tomorrow

In this example, the phrase provided that conveys an essential condition (deposit) required before an event (contract signing).

The present license is granted to the licensee provided that the licensee does not reverse engineer, modify or copy the software code and documentation

Here, provided that is used to state the validity conditions of the license grant (qualification).

How to use provided that

Provided that can be used in a sentence or contractual clause as follows:

  1. Verb + conjunction
  2. An alternative way of saying “if” or “on the condition that” 
  3. Refer to an event that must happen in the future
  4. An exception
  5. A qualification

Let’s look at a few examples to illustrate this.

Verb + conjunction 

Here is an example of the use of the phrase as a verb + conjunction:

The previous agreement between the parties provided that the buyer could exercise an option to renew whereas this agreement does not 

(this means that the other agreement “stated that” or “under the terms of the previous agreement” the buyer could have exercised an option to renew but not in this agreement)


Let’s look at an example where we use provided that to impose a condition:

The parties agree to renew the contract on the same terms and conditions provided that the buyer is not in default of any obligations herein 

(this means that the buyer can renew the contract conditioned upon not being in default of any of its obligations)

Future event 

Now, let’s look at an example where we use provided that to refer to a future event.

The client shall pay the service provider a quarter of the service fees provided that the service provider successfully completes the deliverables and notifies the client in writing

(this means that the client will only pay in when the service is rendered and a written notice is sent to that effect in the future)

You can have “provided that” used to mean “with the exception that”.


The buyer is bound by all the terms and conditions of this agreement, provided that the obligations in section 4 shall not apply to consumers

(this means that the entire terms of the contract will apply to all types of buyers with the exception that section 4 will not apply to consumers)


You can use provided that to further qualify a statement or an obligation in a contract.

For example:

The client has the right to increase its data usage, provided, however, that, such an increase in usage does not exceed the maximum outlined in the contract

Provided that in a sentence

In plain English, we use the phrase provided that in most cases to refer to a condition, limitation or an exception.

For example:

Provided that you complete the registration form, you can get access to the platform for free
You can terminate the contract at your discretion provided that you have the termination for convenience clause

Provided that in law

Provided that in law is commonly used to refer to a condition, establish an exception or qualify something.

Statutes, regulations and contracts have legal provisions making use of the ‘provided that’ phrase.

Let’s look at some examples:

The founders are authorized to sell their shares following the initial public offering provided that they respect the terms and conditions of the lock-up agreement
The company may issue dividends to its shareholders provided that it meets the solvency test and the board of directors approve the distribution 

Provided that vs Providing that

The phrases “provided that” and “providing that” mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably.

It is perfectly ok to use “providing that” instead of “provided that” although some critics do not agree.

The more common way though of writing the concept as provided that.

At the end of the day, you are well justified in using the alternative providing that if it makes sense to you.

Let’s look at an example of how providing that can be used:

Party A and Party B agree in principle to enter into a business operation agreement, providing that Party C represents and warrants that it will deliver the equipment by April 1, 20XX and Party B gets the necessary financing to purchase the equipment 

Provided that examples

Let’s look at how provided that and providing that is used in legal writing today.

Provided that in legal writing
Providing that conditions and events

Provided that FAQ

Provided that FAQ

What is the meaning of provided that?

Provided that can have many meanings depending on how it is used in a sentence or in legal writing.

Here are some possible meanings:

  1. On the condition that 
  2. With the exception that
  3. If 
  4. Only if
  5. As long as 

How do you use providing that?

The most common use of provided that is to express a condition.

For example:

Provided that you work hard, you will succeed in life
Provided you wear the right gear, you can climb that mountain 

You can also remove the “that” to express the same thing.

For example:

Provided you work hard, you will succeed in life

Is it providing that or provided that?

Both formulations are valid.

You can write “providing that” or “provided that” and the meaning conveyed is the same.

For example:

The contract is legally formed provided that the signing parties have the legal capacity 

Alternatively, you can write this statement as follows:

The contract is legally formed providing that the signing parties have the legal capacity 

Related Articles

If you’re interested to learn more about legal jargon and contract drafting content, be sure to check out our articles on how to use “no later than”, the meaning of “sine qua non” or “including but not limited to“!

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