The E-Sign Act: Requirements and what you should know.
Learn about the E-Sign Act and how it has simplified doing business electronically — without pen and paper.
What is the E-Sign Act
Electronic signatures might not feel as “official” as physical documents signed with a pen, but as of 2000, that’s no longer the case.
Congress passed the E-Sign Act to approve the validity and enforceability of electronic signatures. That means if you sign a document with an electronic signature — even official government documents — your signature is legal and binding. You can enter contracts, sign up for services, and approve forms, all with the click of a button.
How to manage E-Sign compliance.
Just because the U.S. Government accepts electronic signatures doesn’t mean every e-signature is valid. Compliance under the E-Sign Act requires that signatures meet the following conditions:
- Consent to do business electronically — All parties must agree to conduct transactions electronically, either explicitly or implied.
- Intent to sign — E-signatures are only valid if the signer intended to sign. Signature requests need to be declinable.
- Association of signature with the record — Signers must make a visible mark or statement on the e-document.
- Attribution — Whether a name or a unique mark, the signature must be attributable to the person signing and only linked to them.
- Record retention — Signed electronic documents must be saved, viewed, or printed by either party and stored for future reference.
Because forged signatures are a serious issue, e-signatures need to follow these strict regulations to maintain the highest levels of security. If you want to use an electronic signature, make sure you use software that meets all E-Sign Act requirements like Acrobat Sign.