Digital Signature Legal
All documents are encrypted, communicated over a secure SSL connection and sealed to ensure their origin and integrity after they are signed. They are stored safely in the cloud and can be retrieved as a .PDF file at any time to support the existence of a contract.
Use our simple basic signature that allows you to approve and accept an agreement with a single click.
Use our advanced two-factor signature that applies a unique link issued in an email and a secure one-time password sent by SMS.
Use our selected national signatures such as the Danish NemID or the Norwegian Bank ID for free.
Are digital signatures valid?
Many legal systems do not even require written signatures for a valid contract - they are valid if both parties reach an agreement whether they agree verbally, electronically or by signing a piece of paper.
However, sometimes evidence is needed in court to prove your case, so we always recommend using a written signature.
Why use a digital signature?
Because it is faster and better for the environment. By signing digitally, our customers say that we save them up to 45 minutes of work per contract, spare them unnecessary paperwork and secure they have their contracts returned with a signature within maximum 24 hours after being sent.
How does your signature work?
It is important for us that we have a quick and seamless digital signature that is easy to use without compromising security and legal validity. Visit the help centre to learn how each one of them works.
Are digital signatures valid in the European Union?
Yes. The first electronic signature directive was published by the European Commission at the end of 1999. But because it was directive and not a regulation — many European countries interpreted the law in their own ways, which became a patchwork of different laws. Some EU members adopted very strict laws and others more liberal. Also, the members of the European Union did not recognize each other's electronic signature laws. That caused a lot of confusion and The European Union could not move forward towards a united solution.
Everything changed when in 2011, the European Commission decided to repair the law and create a united European digital market. After reviewing the Electronic Signature laws in European Union countries, in 2014 the European Commission adopted a new regulation termed eIDAS. The goal of the new law was to ensure security and confidence in Electronic signature, therefore creating mutual Electronic signature recognition system through all the members of the European Union. eIDAS regulation took effect on July 2016 and it works as a single standard regulation which is effective in 28 European Union member states and Switzerland.
Under eIDAS, an electronic signature cannot be denied legal effect and admissibility just because it is electronic. However, the regulation acknowledges that, depending on the technology and validation behind the signature, some types of signatures are more trustworthy than others and withstand higher legal scrutiny. That is, they are more reliably linked to the person signing the document, can protect the integrity of the document and, at the highest level, can carry the same legal effect as a handwritten signature.
Are digital signatures valid in the United States?
Yes. Since the passage of the United States' Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act in 2000, digital signatures have been legal in every state where federal law applies. When it does not, most states in the USA have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act. It means that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. Read more here.
What is the difference between a simple, a qualified, and an advanced electronic signature?
eIDAS describes three types of digital signatures:
Simple electronic signatures are basic electronic data that is logically associated with other electronic data and used as a signatory. For example, you could use your name to sign an email. That would be a simple signature. Our basic signature is such a digital signature.
Advanced electronic signatures are uniquely linked to and capable of identifying the signatory’s identity. They are also linked to documents in a way that any subsequent change of the data is detectable.
Both our two-factor verification signature and the national signatures that we offer are categorized as advanced electronic signatures. They satisfy all the requirements under Article 3(11) of eIDAS.
Qualified Electronic Signatures are advanced electronic signatures that are created by a qualified signature creation devices, based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.
For more information, read what the European Union writes about it here.
So, which kind is yours?
We offer a simple electronic signature and two versions of the advanced electronic signature.
What type of signature should I use then? Which one is better?
It depends on what type of document you have to sign. Signing with the single click signature is the quickest option. The two-factor signature is a safer option as it is much easier to prove the signature in case of a dispute. Certain documents, however, must be signed using national signatures.
What if I need to sign my contracts with another type of signature?
We are currently working hard to have a universal Qualified Electronic Signature solution. We are also implementing more national signatures. Please reach out to us if you have a specific question relating to your country, here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Signatures are modern handshakes. They signify a mutual agreement and make contracts legally valid by verifying the authenticity of documents and making all parties identifiable. In a modern legal system, they are also used to prevent fraud and protect personal security.
However, collecting signatures and getting all parties to sign a contract can be a time-consuming and difficult task if done manually and without a proper contract management system. That is one of the main reasons most modern companies are using digital signatures to close their deals.
If you are not already using a digital signature, you are most likely stuck in a bad habit of using printers, scanners and back-and-forth emailing in order to get some ink on a paper. That process is slow, manual, and a waste of paper – even for the simplest of documents. For more complicated documents, this way of working can become extremely troublesome since you will have requested changes, different versions of the same document, and multiple signees who must sign in a specific order.
This process makes you prone to errors without a digital signature. You will also be working unnecessarily slow, and you can easily lose track of everything. Furthermore, long waiting times spent on new revisions, re-opened negotiations, and multiple documents add confusion which creates doubt and weakens the all-important trust in the process. In that way, a small practical issue ends up as one of the biggest obstacles towards a done deal. To avoid such problems, industry leaders are using digital signatures. They are a great way to save time on your contractual work, shorten the time-to-signature, increase the close-rate, and spare the environment since you do not have to print documents.
Electronic signatures and digital signatures are more or less synonyms. They are easy to mix up, and very often confused - even in official communication. The European Union, for example, mentions electronic signatures even when they are describing digital signatures.
However, that does not mean that there is no difference. One way to distinguish between the two is this: An electronic signature is a symbol attached to a contract. It is often used for “wet signatures” that are drawn directly on an electronic contract. A digital signature, on the other hand, is something that guarantees the authenticity of an electronic signature. They apply cryptography and a special ID which can be used to seal a document and ensure its integrity.
Most often, we will advise you to use an advanced digital signature. They are capable of identifying the signing parties, and they are linked in the documents in a way that any subsequent change of the data is detectable.
You are not able to dismiss a digital signature US and in the EU just because it is digital. However, that does not mean that a digital signature cannot be challenged in court or proven invalid. To be certain that a digital signature is valid, you should ensure that the following criteria is met:
Contractbook’s digital signature is both quick and safe. It meets all the criteria defined above, and it works super efficiently. At least that is what our customers say.
One company says that our digital signatures save them up to 45 minutes per contract. Others like that they have all of their contracts returned after a maximum of 24 hours. Then there are those who value how we reduce their carbon footprint.
The reason is that we are committed to planting a tree for every 100th digital signature transacted on our platform. That means you are not only saving trees by not printing your documents on paper, you contribute to planting new ones as well.
Did we mention that it is free to use?