You may have questions about the legitimacy of the click-to-sign eSignature, and rightfully so. How can clicking a button be as legally enforceable as signing your name? Doesn’t an electronic signature need to look like an ink signature?
Click-to-sign (or click-to-accept) is any digital agreement that can be signed with the click of a button. This can include embedded contracts, clickwrap agreements, and other types of eSignatures. In the United States, there are a number of laws that make eSignatures legally binding. ESIGN and UETA specifically were created to make sure that a contract may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation. In 2013, a federal court determined that the clickwrap signature meets all of the requirements outlined in E-SIGN to be considered legally enforceable.
Is the click-to-sign eSignature legally binding?
If the intent to sign is there, the contract is binding. This is why clickwrap agreements are such a great alternative to ink and paper contracts: they meet the legal requirements outlined in the ESIGN Act, but are much more efficient than the traditional signature.
The three step process for obtaining binding electronic signatures for any contract is:
- Prepare and Send
- Review and Sign
- Record and Analyze
These three steps allow you to quickly sign a contract online, and send it out to others for signature. For contract management platforms like Ironclad that are designed with compliance of laws like ESIGN in mind, this three step process ensures that all your digital contracts are legally binding.
How to ensure your click-to-sign eSignature is secure
Make sure signers know they are signing a legal document.
For an electronic signature to be binding, electronic signature law requires that a signer actually intends to and does sign a contract. Our electronic signature solution makes sure that contracts are conspicuously presented alongside clear methods to electronically sign the contracts. This leaves no doubt about the signers intent to sign.
Automate the required record keeping process
As soon as a contract is electronically signed, create a durable, electronic record of the process by which this electronic signature was created. That record also includes the contract, proof of any authentication measures, a basic signer digital thumbprint, and a time-stamped audit trail of all activity related to a contract and its signers.
Have multiple ways to authenticate signers
Multiple signer authentication options empowers you to always know, and be able to prove, who is signing your contracts. Signer authentication methods include email, secure links, unique signer codes, and multifactor authentication (e.g. codes sent via SMS).
Keep your contract records secure, accessible, and tamper proof.
All information transferred between parties should be encrypted, including usernames and passwords. Ironclad’s platform is designed to keep your contracts secure and prevent tampering of your contracts, your electronic signatures, and your electronic records. We create a unique record of every contract before any party electronically signs it, and of each revision. We then create another unique record of the contract and version associated with the electronic signatures.
Ironclad is not a law firm, and this post does not constitute or contain legal advice. To evaluate the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability of the ideas and guidance reflected here, or the applicability of these materials to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Use of and access to any of the resources contained within Ironclad’s site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Ironclad.
- Is the click-to-sign eSignature legally binding?
- How to ensure your click-to-sign eSignature is secure
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