Can I sign contracts digitally?
We love e-signatures.
Many creative professionals think that e-Signatures are better than physical signatures. And we totally agree! Here’s what you should know.
Most e-signatures are valid
The ESIGN Act (the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act) was enacted in 2000 and most states have adopted some from of the UETA (the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) (a different, but similar law).
Generally speaking, these laws say:
- a signature may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form; and
- a contract may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation.
This only applies if:
- the signing party intended to sign the contract;
- the signing party consents to do business electronically; and
- the electronic signature platform saves and retains the contract itself and an associated record that reflects the process under which the signature was obtained (ie, an “audit trail”).
As a result, the vast majority of e-signed contracts are enforceable. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if a separate statute requires physical signatures for a document (like a will, trust, or related family law contracts), then an electronic signature may not be valid. Additionally, there are very specific exemptions listed in the ESIGN Act and the UETA.
Benefits to using e-Signatures
Here are some of the reasons creative freelancers love e-signatures:
- Say goodbye to paper, pens, mail, faxes, scanners, and email attachments!
- Your contracts will get signed faster when you use an e-signature platform.
- e-signature platforms maintain a copy of the contract for you.
- e-signature platforms will create an audit trail (court admissible advice regarding when, where, and how contract was signed).
- It’s inexpensive.
A custom solution for creative professionals
Here at Contract Canvas, we wanted to incorporate e-signatures into our platform to make things as easy as possible for creative professionals. So we built e-signatures right into our platform at no extra charge. After you create your contract, you can just click send to client and we’ll send your client an email with a secure link to review the contract and to provide their e-signature. After they sign, you can sign, and then we’ll send a final copy to the parties. We also create an audit trail in case you ever need it.
The Creators Guide to Client Agreements
Download this free 22-page guide to learn everything you need to know about client agreements. We dive into the most common client agreement terms, how to review and negotiate contracts, and more.
There’s so much more to learn! Here are a few related guides you should read: