One question that has been arising for many years is the remote execution of such contracts, which need electronic signatures. This execution not only disturbs the laymen but also creates concerns for the lawyer and judicial officials, as they need to send court documents for the signing purpose. In the following article, we will discuss the importance of the digital signature contract and legal issues that the concerned people are facing.
Why Electronic Signatures are important?
While talking about the electronic signature, we need to determine why we have allowed it to become a part of our life. The reason is its effectiveness when you are away from your desk and need to sign a document.
Electronic signature makes the signing process efficient, as you can sign the contract remotely. Moreover, the documentation process works exceptionally well without wasting time in signing, printing, and using papers.
Besides, some businesses are also using web-based e-signature platforms that allow the users to click and insert their handwritten signature in the document.
Are digital signatures legal?
The law commissions of most countries have confirmed that electronic signatures are legal for signing the contracts and agreements. The only requirement is to include the intent of the signed person for authentication.
The legal authorities use different techniques to accomplish this process, but this legality issue has also been managed. In this way, the legal authorities have made the execution process, much improved.
You can improve the execution process, much improved by confirming through an email or including a clause in the agreement that all the parties are permitting the electronic signature intending to give legal permission as a manuscript signature. In this way, all the electronic and digital signatures are valid for signing the contract.
The execution process for the deed
The same process is allowed for the deed execution as well under certain laws. However, for some deeds, the execution process remains the same as it was before the electronic signature. In this way, the parties will need to sign the contract in the presence of witnesses.
Some courts in the European Union did not allow the parties to sign a deed by presenting the witnesses on a video call. This situation has made the execution of the documents through an electronic signature, a bit difficult.
Moreover, if there is a single director, he can sign the deed in the presence of one witness. In the case of having two directors, one of the directors with the company secretary sings a deed. By following this technique, the legal authorities allow you to sign a document without the physical presence of the witness.
In the case of two or more parties, you can use E- signature, but in this case, one party will sign the same document, and the second party will follow the same procedure.
However, if you have incorporated a clause that the agreement will have two separate copies, and by signing each document separately by each party, and sharing both the copies, the agreement will be legal. In this case, both the copies will be original.
More Legal Aspects
To accomplish the execution process, the parties take numerous steps to address the legal requirements related to electronic signatures. Moreover, the delivery of both documents is an integral part to fulfill the legal requirements as well. The final date when a party signs with the delivery date should also be followed.
To make the document more authentic, you can add the dates and delivery time in the document. However, it becomes necessary to include these dates in the document if delivery is not possible on the same date when the final party signed the document. The delivery can be through email by sending a PDF of the document or placing it in the cloud for showing that the agreement has been signed.
Electronic Signature for court documents
According to laws, you can use an electronic signature for claims, witness statements, and defenses. In this way, the parties or their representatives can type their names where the law says to sign. However, to accomplish this task, the signature should be in the printed form or the signed authorities use the software for signing the document.
The legal authorities allow both types of signature for the court documents, which are handwritten and digital signatures. Moreover, you can use an electronic signature for witness statements as well.
We are sure that after reading this information, you will have some questions. We are trying to address some of the questions here that can help you understand the execution of the document in a far better way.
In the case of finding no printer or scanner, how can I sign the document digitally?
For that, you can take a picture of the document and your signature. When it is done, you can paste the signature on the document.
Another option is to use web-based electronic signature software. In this way, you will only have the authentic account with a verified signature, issued by a regulatory authority.
Now, you can add your signature directly through the software. However, if you are using software, you need to return the electronic or PDF document after signing it to the concerned authorities or parties.
Are electronic signature allowed for the deeds that have a company seal?
No, the legal authorities do not allow electronic signature for the deeds that need to be executed with a company seal.
Can we amend the document, which has been signed electronically?
It depends. You need to follow the old traditional way of amendments. It means you will sign the amendments with ink or by following the ways that have been described for electronic signature. The parties need to sign the document that will allow them to implement the amendments.
In this way, they can get the approval of the document. However, only the representatives that have the requisite authority to change the contract can do the same. Sometimes, you need to amend the document at a large scale, the better way is to execute a new document to make it a contract.
Can we use an electronic signature for signing the international agreements?
For that, the best practice is to get legal advice. Sometimes, you may need to check the jurisdiction of the company, which will be involved in the agreement. In some situations, the other party is not allowed to sign electronically in his country. In this case, legal assistance becomes necessary.
For which forms, we need legislation?
For many contracts and agreements to sign electronically, you do not need to follow the law of the land. However, it does not mean that you cannot follow these rules for the execution of these documents. For example, verbal contracts are also legal but you do not need to follow the rules related to the handwritten or electronic signature.
In this case, only basic legal elements are needed in which offer and acceptance, terms that are needed to follow with consideration are included. Therefore, you can sign a simple contract without the approval of the legal authorities.
But, if you want to bind both the parties legally, and avoid any misunderstanding or breach of the contract, we recommend using the signed contracts.
When do we need to follow specific legal formalities?
For all those contracts that we need to write and sign according to the law, we will follow legal formalities. For example, in the case of a disposition of any tangible property, for buying and selling the vehicles, and for a guarantee, you need to execute the document with all the legal formalities.
Overall, for almost all contracts and agreements, we need to sign the contract. The only consideration is, whether to use a handwritten or electronic signature.
Overall, we can say that electronic signatures are widely accepted and used at the international level. Many businesses are using this technology for their contracts and agreements. With time, you will find that the legal authorities will allow all types of electronic signature for all types of contracts and agreements.
However, when we find new technology, we need to wait for the legal approval for using it. So, if you find that the legal authorities have not addressed some options, we can assume that the next legal amendments will address them as well.
How widely, electronic signatures are in use?
While talking about the electronic signature, most businesses and individuals in the developed world have great admiration. Many businesses have incorporated this technology into their businesses. Now, they are enjoying the virtual network for signing and sending the documents to the concerned parties.
However, appropriation issues can be difficult to handle. The reason is the difference in laws in different countries. Although we find that most countries have derived their laws by following the existing rules, implemented in many countries, but still, the difference in law can become hectic for your business. Therefore, you need to be careful about signing the documents with international parties.
Although electronic signatures are widely accepted, still, for legal documents, simple contracts are better. The reason is the execution process that restricts you to use technology. However, in the current world, physical appearance has become difficult. Moreover, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the authorities have bound their citizens to use social distancing.
In this way, the businesses understand the value of electronic signature for their companies. So, executing legal contracts and agreements by using the electronic signature has become a necessity.
However, you need to learn how to execute legal documents more effectively. We have tried to include all the relevant information in this article in which all the legal procedures, legal requirements, concerns of the courts and individuals, and their solutions have been addressed.
However, it does not mean that we have included everything here. Realistically, signing a contract is a task that is very important to run the business and fulfill the legal requirements. So you may find some unaddressed issues in the content.
Overall, you need to learn the legal importance of the electronic signature. If you will be informed about it, using an electronic signature can become a treat to watch for you, your partners, employees, and all the concerned people, who belong to you.