In 2021, using a digital signature online app is a new norm. This digital solution has been capturing the market since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. The reason is that many companies decided to allow their employees to work from home. They also facilitated their customers to order online and get their orders at home. In this situation, the value of the best e-signature online app increased a lot. Therefore, we can observe that many companies have incorporated these solutions into their organization.
However, some business owners are still reluctant to use electronic signature online apps. They think that digital signature online solutions are not legally binding while using them for signing the contracts. We have discussed all the requirements here that make electronic signature contracts legally binding to address all their concerns.
Let us discuss them all!
Electronic signatures for legal agreements
As we have already discussed, more and more companies have started using paperless documentation and digital signature online solutions to prove to their customers that they are digitally equipped to deal with the new world. The governments are also aware of this fact. Therefore, they have made laws that allow the companies to accept e-signature online apps for signing the documents. In this way, the legality of the contracts cannot become an issue for the organizations.
So, if you are reluctant in incorporating digital signature online solutions in your organization, you need to read the information about the legality of electronic contracts given below:
Explaining the term of digital signature online
With the digital signature online app, you can sign the contract digitally using your computer, laptop, or smartphone.
While talking about the types, it is essential to mention that several solutions, from simple to complex, are available in the market. However, free E-signature apps can create legal issues. There is no protection or security of the contract as anonymous can use a stylus, finger, or mouse to sign the documents. Only digital signature online apps provide the necessary protection to make the contracts legally binding.
It is necessary to mention that electronic signatures laws and their legality have been established since 1999. We are pointing out some of the most popular laws for electronic signature in different countries:
Digital signature online apps and the law
Generally, the laws in different countries and their framework vary from country to country. However, the overall concept, general definitions, and frameworks have similarities. The most popular laws that help governments enforce enforceability in different countries are ESIGN in the United States, PIPEDA in Canada, eIDAS in the European Union, Electronic Transactions Act in Australia and New Zealand.
Here, it is necessary to mention that provincial and state laws in all these countries are slightly different. So, to complete electronic transactions and documentation, we need to fulfill both types of requirements to ensure that there will be no hurdle in case of any issue related to federal and provincial laws.
Factors that make the best E-Signature online legally binding
Here are the most important factors that must be considered to make electronic contracts and transactions legally binding:
Intent to sign
If the signer has signed the document digitally with intent, the contract will be legally binding only in that particular case. Therefore, the terms and conditions in the document must be fully transparent. With that, at all levels, the intent of the signer must be recorded.
The signer must express or imply consent for digitally signing the contract
It is a must to add a clause that the stakeholder or client accepts an electronic contract. Furthermore, he agrees to sign digitally. For that, the best E Signature online solutions also add a checked agreement box that verifies the consent of the signer.
Some may claim how typing the name on a document, specific form, or transaction can constitute a signature. To answer this question, we want to mention that laws recommend maintaining an audit trail. In this way, it becomes easier to record the IP address, location, and machine used to sign the document with the timestamp. It helps present in front of all the stakeholders and courts to show signature attribution.
Protection of signature
All the best digital signature online solutions keep the signatures with the document. For that, they attach signatures to the document. Furthermore, these providers store these documents with signatures in an encrypted environment. Additionally, access to these contracts is limited, and only the involved parties can get a copy of these contracts.
All the signers get a copy of the contract
When the signing activity is completed, the management sends a copy of the completed document with signatures to all the involved parties. Generally, the best electronic signature online solutions send these contracts automatically to the relevant parties.
Legally, it is also necessary to reproduce the documents with a signature at any time when it is required. These regenerated copies of the documents can be present before courts or arbitration in case of conflict between or among relevant parties.
The last but critical point to follow the laws is that a party can opt out of digital signing when it thinks so. It means if someone wants to sign a paper contract, he is allow to do so. It is because many people still do not believe in digital signatures. Therefore, the management should always consider paper backups to satisfy all the stakeholders simultaneously.
The terms of electronic and digital signature are not new for many businesses. However, many companies have not accept this technology. The main reason is the legality issues that companies may face using digital signature online apps. However, we want to mention here that more than 100 countries have made relevant laws. These laws allow using e-signature apps for signing documents digitally. More importantly, these laws have define all the factors necessary to follow for the companies. We have discuss all these factors in this article. We are hopeful that these lines will help business owners understand the electronic signature. Furthermore, they can also understand the legal importance of signing the documents digitally.