What Are Electronic Signatures?

What is an Electronic Signature

Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

I Don’t Want to Sound Dumb, But What Exactly Are Electronic Signatures? 

Most people have heard the term “electronic signatures” thrown around here and there, but many aren’t quite sure exactly what electronic signatures are. If you do any sort of business that requires signatures, you’re in for a real treat, because electronic signatures can make your life much easier.

What is an Electronic Signature?

Rather than mailing or delivering papers to other parties to have them sign, with an electronic signature, you can simply send it to them via your computer and receive the signed document back in the same way. Individuals will “sign” the documents by typing their name, or physically signing on the dotted line using their computer. This eliminates the need for them to actually hold the documents in their hand in order to sign them, and allows the process to be completed much faster than the old way.

The Legality of Electronic Signatures

If you’re immediately wondering about the legality of electronic signatures, you’re not alone. Most savvy business owners want to make sure that any contract or document signed with an electronic signature is legal and binding. Well, rest assured, it is. The E-SIGN act (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act) was created in 2000 and upholds the legality of electronically signed documents. It states that “the term electronic signature means an electronic sound, symbol or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign a record.”

How Electronic Signatures Make Life More Convenient

Electronic signatures can be used by virtually anyone who needs signatures on documents and contracts often. From real estate agents to online marketers, being able to have someone electronically sign a document and then forward it back via email is much more convenient than traditional signatures. They can be stored for future reference if needed, and save time, money, and resources. Many green businesses have adopted esignatures as the primary way to run their business, to cut down on paper waste from printing and filing as well as mailing documents.

How Easy Is It to Use Electronic Signatures?

If you choose the right company to provide you with the ability to accept and send electronic signatures, it’s extremely easy. The process is pretty straightforward, and most programs will walk you through the steps to using them so that you can send documents to business associates, customers and others. Those same programs will notify recipients of exactly what to do in order to sign and send back the document to complete the process. You don’t have to be tech savvy at all to use electronic signatures, and the process is fast and convenient.

Now you know what electronic signatures are, as well as the massive benefits you can gain by utilizing them for your personal and business needs.