Today, online transactions are more popular than ever before. Aside from the fact that today’s era benefits from technological advancements, most businesses and companies hire international workforces and deal with international partnerships, making online transactions more significant.
With the growing popularity and number of online users, most of you probably wonder if online transactions and agreements are secured and authentic. Like with physical transactions and agreements, signatures are one way to verify the authenticity of any contract.
But, the real question is, are e-signatures truly valid? Read on as we talk about e-signatures.
What Does E-Signature Mean?
An e-signature is a shorter term for electronic signature. It’s a legal way to get consent or approval from the other end of the bargain via electronic documents or forms. E-signatures are highly recognized worldwide, and most people are comfortable with signing documents electronically.
Are E-Signatures Legal?
If you’re having doubts about e-signatures, rest assured that it is legal. In fact, it is accepted throughout the industrialized world, and they are more secure than traditional paper-based signatures. E-signatures are also less susceptible to forgery; that’s why many businesses and companies are confident in using e-signatures.
You can even sign legal documents using e-signatures such as deposition transcripts, pleadings, motions, affidavits, closing documents, disclosures, financings, legal filings, NDAs, and more. Essentially, you can sign any litigation filing documents and transactional documents using e-signatures.
However, some documents are not appropriate for e-signatures because the e-signature law does not cover these documents. Documents not covered by e-signature include wills, family law matters, certain court orders, official court documents, and other estate documents. E-signatures for cancellation of utility services, termination of health/life insurance benefits, health/safety recalls, handling of toxic materials, and notices regarding primary residence are also not allowed.
What Makes an Electronic Signature Legally Binding?
An e-signature can make an agreement legally binding since the law can back up e-signatures. In the United States, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) were set in place to recognize the enforceability of e-signatures. Since there’s an act to support that e-signatures are valid, they can carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional handwritten signatures and paper documents.
While e-signatures are valid in all the states in the US, it’s still best to refer to the laws in your jurisdiction before using e-signature. This way, you can know if e-signatures also carry the same legal effect as handwritten documents because some jurisdictions may have exceptions and restrictions.
If your company heavily uses online contracts or transactions, there’s no need to worry because you can make use of and trust e-signatures to make your documents authentic and valid. It is legal, and you can rely on it if you need your documents signed and secured. E-signatures can make your life easier, especially if you need to make a contract with someone far away from you. It’s especially useful for companies that manage their transactions and workflows online.
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