Dispelling the Myths of E-Signatures: Are They Legal?

Companies who are considering integrating e-signatures into their everyday business processes will quickly and easily see the benefits of them. However, one thing that stops many companies from making the decision to utilize e-signatures is wondering whether they’re truly legal and whether they work the same as actual printed and signed contracts.

Are E-Signatures Really Legal?

The most common myth about e-signatures is that they’re not actually legal, and couldn’t be upheld in a court of law. The truth is that e-signatures work just like typical contracts, and are legal and binding*. As long as companies keep records of the documents and the fact that the customer “signed” them, they can be upheld in a court of law just like regular contracts that are manually signed.

Laws Upholding E-Signatures

There are a few different laws governing e-signatures, including the ESIGN Act of 2000. This act made e-signatures just as legally binding as a traditionally-obtained signature. The law makes these signatures equal to their paper counterparts. The other law that governs e-signatures is the UETA (Uniform Electronic Transaction Act), and this law defines what an e-signature.

What is an E-Signature?

The UETA states that an e-signature is “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Typically, e-signatures are as simple as the individual typing their name with the intent of signing an electronic document. However, it could entail something else, such as making a statement or something similar.

Great for the Customers

 Another myth that is common about e-signatures is that customers don’t trust them. This is entirely untrue. Customers have come to expect convenience, as it is something that most businesses in just about every industry place a priority on. When customers can quickly and easily accomplish something that might normally take days, they’re happier customers! By offering your customers the opportunity to electronically sign documents rather than waiting for them to come in the mail, you have an edge on your competition and can end up blowing them out of the water!

Things Companies Should Know About E-Signatures

 Companies who decided to utilize e-signatures should know that it’s very important to keep thorough records of those documents signed with e-signatures, as well as any other correspondence with customers that sign electronic documents. This is what is used if there is a dispute or conflict with the e-signature and acts as the proof in a court of law. As long as these files are kept and organized, e-signatures can be very beneficial for businesses. They save a lot of time, money, and are a great move to make with the environment in mind.

Overall, e-signatures are something all businesses should consider. It gives them a lot more freedom and allows them to offer their customers a type of convenience that many other companies simply don’t offer.

*Each case is independent and we recommend you consult with an attorney in your specific case.  We are not providing legal advice or recommendations and you should always consult with a professional.

E-signatures are becoming more popular

In today’s world, individuals can ask a question of a colleague half a world away and receive an answer in just minutes. Paperwork that once took days and even weeks to transfer from one party to another can now be sent in the time it takes to hit a download button. Technology has made everything more convenient, including business and the way business processes are handled. E-signatures are one method businesses use to streamline processes and speed up productivity. They’re a wonderful way to save time and money, and they make doing business a lot more convenient.

What is an E-Signature?

An E-signature is a type of signature that individuals can give electronically, to prevent the need to have their actual physical signature. There are different sorts of E-signatures, from unique codes that are inserted to signify “signing,” to the simple act of typing one’s name. There are typically some measures used to ensure that the individual signing is actually the person they say they are. E-signatures allow individuals to quickly perform tasks that they might normally need to wait days or weeks for, such as signing a contract.

What are the Benefits of E-Signatures?

Businesses can especially benefit from using E-signatures in a number of ways. First and foremost, they save a lot of time, allowing businesses to get things done more quickly than through the traditional method of obtaining signatures. E-signatures are also a great way to cut costs in a business. Normally, important papers must be printed out or scanned, copied, and mailed out to the recipients. Considering the huge amount of paperwork most companies are burdened with, the cost of moving it around in this manner is relatively expensive. When using electronic forms and e-signatures, costs are cut significantly.

Green Companies

E-signatures are also very beneficial for companies who are going green, or who have made the effort to eliminate paper waste throughout their company. Approximately 30 billion paper documents are either printed or copied by companies in the United States each year. Every company that goes green and utilizes e-signatures on digital documents rather than printed copies reduces that number significantly. This goes a long way toward building a better future and reducing the amount of paper waste generated by businesses in the US.

Are E-Signatures Legal?

E-signatures are legal and can be used for all types of businesses requiring valid signatures. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) ensures that electronically-signed documents and contracts are just as legally binding as a traditional paper-based contract. This law was passed in 2000, so by no means are E-signatures a brand new idea. However, the popularity is spreading and more and more companies are realizing the immense benefits of using E-signatures in everyday business process.

Overall, E-signatures are a type of technology that benefits both the businesses that utilize them and the customers that work with those businesses. From the added convenience to quicker processing and increased productivity, E-signatures are a solution that all businesses should consider.