Are electronic signatures legally binding?

Are electronic signatures legally binding?

June 11, 2019 - 4 minutes read - Business Growth, Contributed Posts

Please note: Information in this blog is not intended to be considered to be legal advice of any kind. This information is intended as a general guide only. If you’re having an issue with an electronic signature, you are advised to seek legal counsel.

“Electronic signature” refers specifically to a personal signature created for the purpose of signing documents and correspondence. (This is not the same thing as scanning a paper document, which is actually a manual signature.)

Electronic signatures are used for a very wide range of different types of legal documents. The question naturally arises whether or not electronic signatures are legally binding. The short answer is “Yes”. Depending on the legal jurisdiction, the electronic signatures do have a specific legal status and are considered to be proper evidence of a legal signature.

What is a legally binding signature?

A “legal signature” refers to any signature where a person has signed an agreement, a contract, or other legal document imposing specific legal obligations on signatories. A legal document is itself legally binding unless a court makes an order to the contrary, and this also applies to electronic signatures.

The same legal rules apply to electronic signatures as to manual signatures. A fraudulent electronic signature, for example, may be considered inadmissible by a court as proof of entering into a legal agreement. It may also be used as evidence of fraud.

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Sourcing your electronic signature for legal purposes

There are many options on the market for sourcing your electronic signature. One specific example of a source which provides a full range of business electronic signature options is the DocSketch electronic signature. If you’re one trying to grow your business, this is a good place to start. Although it’s worth noting there are a range of free and paid electronic signature services for businesses so it’s worth doing your research.

Please be aware while exploring your options:

  • In many businesses, more than one person is empowered to sign legal documents on behalf of the business. This means that you will need a source for your electronic signatures which caters for multiple signatories.
  • The security of electronic legal signatures must be considered. Your electronic signature should be protected. Your source should be able to provide adequate protection and tracking of your signature.
  • Please also note that some types of legal documents still require hard copy signatures by law.
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Seeking legal advice

If you’re entering into a contract or legally binding agreement, you will naturally be obtaining legal support. It is strongly recommended that you consult with your legal support service before executing an electronic signature for the first time.

Your legal advisors will be able to provide any specific advice you need, answer your questions, and help you with the electronic signature process.

You’ll find that electronic signatures are very easy to use and very efficient, both for your own use and for that of your clients.

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This article was contributed by Claire Ward, a writer specializing in business and marketing related topics.

If you’re interested in submitting a contributed blog post for Mod Girl Marketing, contact us here.

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