The other day I was going back and forth with a potential client about re-designing his web site. It’s a small site, and I worked with this person before – so it didn’t take us very long to hammer out the details. The next step was writing out the contract and getting him to sign off on it. I had heard about a service where you could electronically aquire a signature, so I figured what the hell, I’ll give this a try.
My first impression of signatureconfirm.com was how professional-looking and simple their website is. Two major pluses right off the bat. I sign up, throw the wording together in an online form, type in my client’s email and hit submit. A few minutes later I get a notification stating that my client signed off on the contract and get a link to download the digitally-signed document.
I did my own research before using the service, and the use of digital signatures is nothing new. According to Wikipedia:
Although every state has at least one law pertaining to electronic signatures, it is the federal law that lays out the guidelines for interstate commerce. The general intent of the ESIGN Act is spelled out in the very first section(101.a), that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. This simple statement provides that electronic signatures and records are just as good as their paper equivalent, and therefore subject to the same legal scrutiny of authenticity that applies to paper documents.
Which basically states that a contract can’t be dismissed because it’s not signed with a physical signature. Does signatureconfirm ensure that all the federal regulations apply to it’s process? I can’t say. What I do know is whomever electronically signs the document must have access to my client’s email account and internet connection, and that’s good enough for me.
If you feel a physical signature is absolutely vital, then hey keep doing what you’re doing. I’m not saying this is for everyone. By using this service I’ve managed to save some time and effort – It’s definitely worth looking into at the very least.