Paperwork no longer has to be completed on paper to be legally binding. More and more companies are working paperless and are sending and signing important documents such as contracts electronically. To do this, however, you need an e-Signature online app.
e-Sign or electronic signature apps allow you to officially digital signature online pdf files as well. But before you get in there is one important difference you need to make. An electronic signature is simply your typed, drawn, or otherwise digitally added signature on a document. In theory, you can add one with hundreds of applications, from Microsoft Word to Photoshop, depending on how things are set up. They can still be legally binding.
What is E-signature online app?
E-signatures, as the electronic signature is also known, replace the written signature. Not only do they save time and money, but they also cause less waste and are traceable, time-stamped, and more secure. Above all, however, they are legally equivalent to written signatures.
Legality of E-Signatures
The main thing to focus on is that are these electronic signatures equipped to make legally binding contracts? The answer is yes.
In the United States, the ESIGN Act states that electronic signatures are completely legal as long as all parties agree to use them. In addition to the ESIGN Act, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act regulates the use of electronic signatures in the states. European Union also follow the same legislation.
Despite the existing legislation, you may need to do more research online. You can also consult a legal advisor for more specific, country-specific details.
In the United States, you can use an electronic signature to create a law. The courts allow you to use an electronic signature as evidence in legal proceedings. Also, a document, record, or contract cannot be refuse just because it is electronic.
Rest assured that choosing an electronic signature solution won’t harm your business from a legal standpoint. However, providers must meet some conditions for an electronic signature to be legally valid:
- Show that the signer had a clear intention to sign. For example, offer a clear option not to sign.
- Prove that the signatory has agreed to conduct business electronically. Most electronic signatures require approval before being signed. Some offer the option to fill out the form on paper.
- Assign the signature clearly. This could include an email trace, an IP address, or a timestamp. There are various providers that work on the functionality of two way step. While this adds an extra step for the signer, it creates a higher standard of mapping.
- Associate or connect the signature directly with the document to be sign.
- If you meet these requirements, an electronic signature is legally binding. Keep in mind that the above terms may already be include in a vendor’s solution.
Exploring the legal framework
In some cases, an electronic signature is not consider appropriate. This can be the case with important documents and ceremonies, e.g.divorces, birth, and death certificates. Sometimes multiple witnesses or a notary are require, negating the convenience of electronic signatures that are deliver remotely. Another reason that speaks against the use of eSignatures is when the signers have no computer skills.
The best eSignature apps
By the time you’re reading this article, you are likely looking for a way to either electronically signing a document that has just been sent to you, or you want to send out documents to be digitally signed by contractors and other business partners. Either way, we have recommendations for the right apps for you. We looked through 35+ electronic signature apps – these are the top eight.
Here are the names of some of the best online signature apps that you are going to find on the internet.
- DocSignPro for companies that sign a lot of things
- HelloSign for integration with cloud storage
- Preview for the occasional signing of documents on a Mac
- Adobe Acrobat Reader for the occasional signing of documents on a PC
- eSignatures.io for a “pay-as-you-go” option
- Docsketch for a free forever plan
- PandaDoc to collect payments when people sign
- SignNow for small teams
What makes a good electronic signature app?
All E- signature apps have various kinds of functionalities that can help you in the long run. You can add your electronic signature to these digital documents via these apps. But the simpler and easier it is to do, The More different types of documents and devices it supports, and the deeper the integrations with other apps and software platforms, the better. While many apps can just add a signature, we looked for one that is easy to use and can fit into many different workflows.
Most of the apps present to allow you to send a document to someone else to have them sign it.
Various uses of the e-signature online app
All industries need contracts, agreements, and forms. They use them to start a business, do an employee background check, and hire subcontractors on a construction site.
We were looking for apps that are suitable for small businesses. You can find lots of electronic signature Online apps with expensive plans, crazy contract ties, and a focus on corporate customers – but not on our list.
As a result, Customized and Standard E-Signatures can be found everywhere. Electronic signatures can be used in almost every industry, agency, or legal application.
It is important for a hospital department to reduce the time it takes to get signatures from doctors, patients, and insurers. In one radiology department, the time it took to get signatures for abdominal exams drop from 11 to three days. The time it took to signatures relate to breast exams dropped from 10 to five days. Using e-signatures to shorten or skip steps in employees’ workflow increased productivity.
Without e-signatures, the future functions of healthcare – remote care, virtual hospitals, and medical e-commerce – will not be easy to achieve.
Security was an important issue. While we didn’t look for a specific number of features, any app that can store sensitive documents like contracts had to take this issue into account in some way. Things like encrypted or password-protected documents, compliance with US or EU regulations, and support for digital signatures were enough to make it onto the shortlist. (So make sure any app you use meets your country or industry compliance standards).
You need to be able to test out the different apps before deciding which one to use. The field is full of different competitors, and it’s almost impossible to tell the good from the bad just by their websites (believe me, I know). A decent free trial – or better yet, a free plan – was require to make this list. Apps that do not collect credit card data also had priority. They are just not necessary.
Electronic signatures help traditional organizations organize themselves better. The same goes for unions. With the changed guidelines for electronic signatures, the collection of employee information is much faster. With e-signatures, unions can organize themselves privately and with greater participation and impact.
E-signature online apps insert a special type of electronic signature in your digital documents. These are create with special eSign apps. They use cryptography to protect the document and also embed details like your email address, when and where you sign a document, and what device you use to do so. They are much safer and legally recognized worldwide.