In this article, we will provide you with a summarized overview of signatures and general insight into digital signatures which you can use on your Contractbook-native legal documents.
When are digital signatures binding?
A signature is made by an individual on a document to signify acceptance, an obligation, certification of knowledge, or approval. When signing a document, the signature authenticates in writing that the individual accepts/validates the contents of the document.
What is a digital signature and why should you use it?
You can find more information about that in our blog section here.
How can I make sure a digitally signed document is valid?
You can always validate a digital signature manually after downloading any of your signed through Contractbook contracts as a PDF. Simply open the document in Adobe and go to the signature panel. Click here for more information about that.
What regulation applies to digital signatures?
In the European Union, we have a Regulation shortly called eIDAS: Regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions in the Internal Market.
Any idea on what eIDAS is?
Here is a link to our blog section which will help you understand that much better.
The Regulation came into effect in 2016 and has its aim to ensure an adequate level of security of different mechanisms of electronic identification and trust services. It is directly applicable to all EU countries. eIDAS has also been implemented in some non-EU countries such as the EEA EFTA States: Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
Digital signatures are also accepted by many countries across the world. See what countries accept digital signatures here.
Why are digital signatures binding?
According to the eIDAS:
- “Digital signatures shall not be denied legal effect or admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form, or that it does not meet the requirements for Qualified Electronic Signatures.” What this means is that no one can deny the legal effect of a digital signature because it is in electronic form.
- “A Qualified Electronic Signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.”
Therefore, in cases where a handwritten signature is absolutely required, a Qualified Electronic Signature is sufficient, but an Advanced Electronic Signature would not be sufficient.
Therefore, a digital signature in the EU countries cannot be denied its legal effect just because they are digital. Read more about this in our blog.