An electronic signature is a custom signature created for signing electronic documents online. Electronic signatures are very useful features to have. This is especially true when you are a busy entrepreneur who needs to sign documents regularly. Many use email signatures to expedite their emailing processes throughout the day. However, those same entrepreneurs can improve their other processes through electronic signatures.
Your online signature can be used for a very wide range of purposes. You can use it for both your business and personal needs. If you’re looking at creating an electronic signature, there are a few things you need to know. Continue reading to learn what you need to know about electronic signatures to use them safely.
Inquire About Online Signature Issues
You will need to consider several issues regarding your online signature. Ask online services a variety of questions including:
- Will your signature be used regularly for business needs?
- Do you have enough reasons to create an electronic signature?
- Will you also require your signature for your own personal business documents?
- Will your needs include signatures for legal documents and/or financial documents?
- What style of signature do you prefer? Would a signature using a specific font or script be your preferred option?
Entrepreneurs favor electronic signatures because of how customizable they are. You can create a digital signature that is both unique and instantly recognizable. You can even create one that’s just like your manual signature. Consider this along with how you can stop losing customers when you can expedite your processes with electronic signatures.
Source Your Electronic Signature
Electronic signature creation services are offered by a range of providers. The best online signature service providers also offer additional scope for your clients and other parties to use their own personal signatures on your documents. This is generally considered to be the best practice approach. You can simplify document signatures, which saves you time and creates an easy way of making document signature entries.
The good news about electronic signatures is that some companies online make it very easy to create your signature to sign business documents efficiently. Online businesses such as Docsketch offer simple ways for entrepreneurs and other professionals to sign documents electronically.
You’ll see a range of options for Free and Pro signatures. The Free option is ideal if you only use an electronic signature occasionally. Business owners who sign documents regularly advance with the Pro option.
Choose A Personalized Type
One of the reasons for the popularity of electronic signatures is that your signature is created as a truly personalized, go-anywhere signature for so many uses. A lot of online signatures are graphic representations of your actual signature.
An additional degree of personalization can be added by a wide range of software systems. This is especially beneficial for online business owners. They hire digital agencies and other service providers in hopes of improving their online identities. With multiple systems in place, you can create personal signature characteristics such as:
- “Drawn” electronic signatures: This type of signature is effectively a picture of a hand-written signature.
- Individual document signatures: Some PDF documents also offer a handwritten option for individual signatures using built-in graphics software on the PDF document.
- General use electronic signatures: These signatures are a pre-set electronic signature, created by software for use on any type of online document. These are the most common online signatures, used by many businesses, and useful for practically all online and electronic signature needs.
As a rule, most people prefer the general use type of online signatures, which are created with a one-time easy setup process. These signatures can be used on any type of document very easily.
Understand The Legal Requirements
One common question is whether electronic signatures are safe and if they have a legal leg to stand on. To start with, electronic signatures are indeed glegally bindin in the US, UK, EU and a number of other countries around the world. In the US, there are a couple pieces of legislation that ensure such signatures hold up in court, such as Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and United States Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN).
Some of the criteria that are taken into consideration to determine the legality of a signature is as follows:
- The person signing the document can be linked to the signature and identified individually.
- The person signing must be the only person with access to the private key used to create the signature.
- The tool used to create the signature must be robust enough to prevent tampering and have safeguards in place to ensure this doesn’t happen.
- Finally, if it can be proven that the data has been changed, there are grounds from the signature to be voided.
Ultimately, electronic signatures are seen as a safe and legal method of signing a business or personal agreement.