Is This Really Legal? and Other Doubts About Signing Documents Online

By | November 1, 2011

There are often numerous processes involved in a specific business deal prior to the contract being signed and the deal secured. With technological advancements, the contract signing process can be done online, from anywhere there’s an internet connection and a device to connect with.

Cloud based contract signing is currently used by many businesses, as it offers many advantages. However, some people still have concerns and are not quite ready to adopt this technology into their daily workflow. There tends to be three primary hesitations that many businesses have regarding e-signatures, all of which we’ll discuss and attempt to put to rest.

Pros of E-Signatures

Online e-signature solutions have many benefits, no matter the size of your business. They can speed up transactions from weeks to hours, or even minutes. They prevent a potential client from having second thoughts or choosing your competitor due to the long time required to receive, review, and sign a paper contract. E-signatures solve all the problems that come with using paper contracts, from difficulties in mailing and faxing to storing all of the paper. These are only a few of the many benefits that will increase your company’s efficiency and revenue and reduce costs.

Easing Your Doubts

These are the three major doubts that often discourage businesses from utilizing e-signatures:
1.      Are e-signatures legal?
E-signatures are as legal and binding as their physical paper counterparts. This is ensured by the ESIGN Act (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act), passed by Congress in 2000. The act provides protection for consumers and businesses, assurance of legality, and guarantees document access. Cloud based contracts increase business efficiency and customer service quality, and, more importantly, they are completely legal, enforceable agreements.

2.      Are online documents secure and confidential?
Security is an extremely important aspect when it comes to contract signing. Unlike in physical contracts where the signature is the only way to confirm it is authentic, an e-signature can be authenticated by numerous ways such as user password, IP address, and e-mail address.  When a contract is signed electronically in the cloud, the process can be tracked with its online trail back to the source. This further strengthens the security of electronic signature software.

3.      What will the recipients think if I send them a document to sign online?
New signers of a document sent with esignature software may doubt or not be aware of the legal enforceability of an e-signature. To make things clear, the initiator should provide a brief explanation of the technology and also remind the signer to pay attention to the details in the contract as they would with any agreement. This is important to the signers’ sense of comfort and trust in the new process. When you send a document or contract to a client, give them clear notifications as this will expedite your transaction.

The use of e-signature software has clear benefits, and electronically signed documents are both legal and secure. This technology speeds up transaction time and reduces waste and costs. You should consider putting your doubts aside and giving online signatures a try in your business.

About the Guest Post Author: Kevin Moore is an expert in online technologies, including web applications, cloud computing and E-signature software. His articles have been published on leading sites.