Signing software is the basis for agreeing to the terms of a contract with an electronic signature.
What is signing software?
To facilitate the process of digitally signing documents, organizations need signing software that enables them to securely sign, send and manage documents. In this way, they can improve overall collaboration and productivity within their organization.
An electronic signature is a digital form of a signature on a piece of paper. The eSignature technology offers an attractive alternative to traditional methods of preparing, sending, signing and verifying documents, agreements and contracts. Signing software provides users with the ability to securely collect signatures on electronic documents, such as sales documents and employment documents.
The basics of electronic signatures
The foundation of signing software provides the electronic signature (often referred to as e-signature). It is a legal way to obtain or give consent or approval to an electronic document or form. As a rule, it can replace a handwritten signature in almost any procedure. E-signatures not only offer many benefits to businesses, vendors and customers, they are: legally binding, cost-effective, enormously efficient
How can I create an electronic signature?
Creating an electronic signature is easy with the right signing software. When sending a document to others, simply log in to the preferred signing software and upload the document you want to sign. Most signing software supports a range of file types, including PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc. Next, add recipients and include relevant fields, such as signature, name, title, and date. Once you click send, recipients receive an email with a link to the document, which they can view and sign on virtually any device, from almost anywhere, at any time. Once the document is electronically signed by all parties, an email confirmation is automatically sent to all parties and the document is securely stored in the respective signing software for later use.
Why use signing software?
There are many reasons why electronic signatures and therefore signing software can be used instead of their traditional, handwritten counterparts. The most important advantage is speed. By eliminating the physical logistics of paper, electronic signatures make it much easier to conduct business, especially internationally.
Not only is the process of signing documents streamlined by facilitating access to databases and the cloud, but costs are saved by making tasks like lengthy audit trails more efficient with signing software.
Automating the validation and archiving of signed documents with signing software basically saves a lot of time and money. It is also very environmentally friendly, because with every electronic signature that is done instead of paper, you reduce your environmental footprint.
Is an electronic signature and therefore signing software legally binding?
To comply with worldwide contract law, a signature (and therefore signing software), whether electronic or paper, must meet three essential requirements. If someone doubts the validity of a signed document, they must be able to prove the following:
- the intention of the signing party to enter into a binding agreement.
- the identity of the signing party.
- the integrity of the document, meaning that it has not been altered.
Provided that these 3 points are met, the electronic signature and thus the use of signing software is legally binding. This is of course the case with common signing software.
Does my electronic signature have to look like my handwritten signature?
It’s a common misconception that an electronic signature must look like a handwritten signature. And while many signing software providers allow signatures to be scanned and uploaded to a document, it doesn’t matter what an electronic signature looks like as long as it was accepted by the signer with the intent to sign the record.
While documents signed in wet ink may need to undergo forensic analysis to determine who actually signed the document, contracts signed with signing software will have a secure electronic record attached. Signing software’s back-end technology records the IP address of the signer and the date and time the document was signed, providing vital data in case the validity of the signature is questioned.
This comprehensive, legally admissible data makes the style of the signature irrelevant, so it doesn’t matter whether you draw your electronic signature to match your handwritten signature or choose a pre-designed signature in signing software.
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