An email contract is an agreement reached by two or more parties involved in dealing and made through the electronic mail. Most people think any other form of contract is invalid unless when done through the traditional paperwork and signed as many of them feel about deals as been agreements between parties committed to writing it. However, contracts do not need to be put into a written format for a court to recognize or enforce them. The agreement between two or more parties to do a specific obligation or to not do it, in exchange for a form of compensation as a return or to invest in it can be seen as a contract. Simply put, a deal is a process whereby there is a party putting on an offer and another party agreeing to the proposal and some exchange of values between them for the benefit of both parties with enforceable conditions. Having said this, contracts entered through email are entirely binding as there is no reason not to be. Email contracts should put to good use the fact that most of the communication is online by adding the required attachments and links or even some videos and photos if needed and appropriate. One should just put in mind that any official documents sent along should and must be adequately saved, locked, or enveloped using any of the rich variety of electronic signature platforms. For instance, attaching a file like a Non-Disclosure Agreement needs to be adequately encrypted so that no edits can be made. When sending email contracts, the tone used will have to depend on the company culture while formality should be balanced with a more friendly human communication of the company’s enthusiasm. Only commitment that can be upheld by the company should be stipulated because once the contract is signed, it becomes binding. Also, one should not forget to include all the necessary details such as contact details, date.
However, one question that might resonate in many minds is that “Is an Enforceable If There Is No Signature?” Well, the answer is not a clear-cut one as many people believe there must be a form of electronic signature backing up any contract. Contrarily, some people also opine that having an electronic signature is not necessary for as much as the parties involved on the deal have their consent on it. Similarly, the contract agreement and approval do not have to be on the same email as it is possible to have twenty approvals for the same email and still have the email contract remain legally acceptable. It should be noted though that a minute section of the email contract agreement designated to writing for it to be enforceable.
One major issue that can be faced when an electronic signature is not used along with email contracts is:
The authenticity of the email contract agreement between the parties involved is one major issue that is frequently affected in most cases. For instance, suppose one of the parties involved wants to back out of the entire deal, they may claim not to know the contract and that someone else must have accessed their email account, and entered the agreement for them. However, with a digital electronic signature in place, there will be no case of repudiation as it will serve as the needed evidence to resolve most of these issues leading to their wanting out reasonably quickly. In like manner, some may even claim ignorance of knowing that the email was a contract.
BENEFITS OF ENTERING AN EMAIL CONTRACT WITH PROPER SECURITY MEASURES IN PLACE
1. Saves Time and Cost
Striking any form of the deal is now easy to make because all the stress of having to go from one signatory and statutory to another has been subdued by the use of adequate electronic signature software. All processes involved can be done electronically and online. For instance, getting the required signatures for a contract manually can be a tiring endeavor, especially when the party whose signature is needed is in a different geographical area. Hence with the use of the latest technology, there would be a minimal consumption of valuable time. Similarly, there is a reduction in the cost of facilitating the transaction as compared to the physical paper means. It, therefore, alleviates unnecessary printing and scanning costs, and inconvenient delivery.
2. Remote Access and Authentication
With the use of email, projects and contracts can be awarded quickly and remotely without even leaving where one is presently located. In likewise, the credibility of all parties involved can be verified and accessed to guard against any form of fraud.
3. Legally Recognised
An email contract duly signed electronically is tenable in court and is subjected to no form of mutilation or damage, unlike its paper-contract document. Such an arrangement is also believed to have not been tampered with due to the level of security it would have been subjected to.
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