Legal Document Signing Online
Digital and Electronic Signatures are becoming more popular because of the rapid change of markets. The business owner is now paying attention to paperless technology to speed up their business transactions. In the year 2000, the E-sign Act has enacted the smooth implementation of Digital electronic signatures into business enterprises, yet the mechanisms that were behind the Digital electronic signature was intentionally left wide open. Years later, there are still widespread negative rumors of electronic signatures even when there is clear evidence that a particular person has used it at one point in time instead of the traditional paper and ink signature.
How can we so sure that Electronically Signed Documents will be accepted in the court of law or what common best practices can be adapted to business when using a digital electronic signature to run your processes?
Why This Matters
Whether you like it or not, it is usual for clients to argue over a contract by questioning the authentication of the document. Clients like that may say digital signature does not comply with the national ESIGN and UETA and take the case straight to the court.
The basis of most potential legal issues with Documents Signed in an automated manner is associated with the validity of the contract. It is one of the reasons when you are buying goods, services or agreeing to a deal online. There are many checkboxes to confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions of purchase or contract. A user who checks the boxes without reading the words will not argue over matters that he was asked for confirmation before action was taken.
Communication in a contract agreement could be a problem; this why a company lawyer should go through a contract thoroughly before he allows his company to release it to the people. There have been many cases where clients question the integrity of a deal when an electronic signature was used, and don’t be surprised in the coming years. There will still be issues surrounding electronic signature especially when the appropriate electronic signing approach was employed.
The Three Security classes of Electronic Signatures that is required for signing the document online
However, there are three classes of Digital Electronic Signatures. The first and the most common one is to use the pix of your signature written down on any document, whether the format is in the doc, xlx, docx, PDF or any other known format types. However, I don’t really like this method for commercial purposes because it is easier for clients to question the legality of the document; although it becomes legal when asked for confirmation from the concerned parties. A party could back this with clear evidence such as emails asking for the service that is indicated in the contract. However, it is better not to risk it for a business transaction.
The second classes of signatures have to do with signing the name of a person electronically by typing the name in any of the following formats:E-sign
Act has considered // and the /s/ to be a legitimate signature and acceptable enough for online document signing. The use of lower priority contracts such as non-recurring services and agreement for low value where the legality is not likely to be called for. To keep the consumer portion in mind, a line should be included in the contract identifying the alternatives to opt out, and manual signatures can be used instead.
The third classes of electronic signatures belong to the software solutions like DocuSign, EchoSign, which are compliant with the laws of E-Sign Act and other related laws guiding the use of electronic signatures and the service they offer.
E-sign Act states that if a business is required to keep records and information of a contract, it must also maintain a career in an automated manner. This law goes further by backing electronic signature and has a legal right to the signed file. Keeping such a record on a company service is an unacceptable storage method. Electronic signature services like DocuSign, Adobe sign, EchoSign and much other software are given a statutory grant to store a copy of the contract agreement online on the company server.
When Not to Use an E-Signature
There are few cases where the need for a paper and wet ink signature is required; even the law does not back the use of electronic signature for that purpose. When it involved the death of a person(when a death certificate is required), eviction notices, foreclosure notice, product recall notices, a health insurance policy or some estate document papers, and some certain court papers; a paper signature has been made compulsory for cases like this.
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