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Provisions that you should look out for when signing contracts online

Throughout the pandemic, the electronic signature became a tool that nowadays, many entrepreneurs cannot imagine running a business without. It is quick and easy to use while also saving valuable time for both the sender and the signer. The e-signature instantly rooted itself in domestic companies, which is why we decided to remind everyone how to efficiently transition into the new reality of running a business. Below, we have collected examples of provisions that are not practical to use when concluding contracts electronically. These provisions have been formed due to the habits that we have built up over the years of using paper, so it's no wonder that we often transfer them to the online world without critically thinking about it. We hope that these examples will enlighten you as to which additions should be considered when sending documents via the Autenti platform:

  1. contract concluded in writing” –  It is worth remembering that the written form is not one where the content of the contract was recorded in writing, but one that was signed by hand.  In the instance of contracts being concluded in electronic form, we will not have traditional (handwritten) signatures, so the entry will incorrectly suggest that, in addition to the electronic form, the paper form of this document has been executed and signed separately.
  2. the contract was drawn up as two identical copies, one for each party” – The concept of copies is irrelevant to the electronic form. The electronic file that the content of the contract and signatures have been recorded on can be, in principle, reproduced in any context, and each copy will have the value of an original copy of the contract.
  3. changes to the contract are required to be in writing under pain of nullity” – this type of contractual provision will be correct, but in practice it will make it difficult to amend the contract electronically. Abandoning this rigid regulation will let the Parties be more flexible when making changes in the format that is most convenient for them.
  4. all statements, notices and notifications carried out by the parties related to the validity and execution of the contract may be transferred to the other party only in writing” –as a rule, the return „in writing” (equivalent to using the written form) will limit the execution of actions relevant to the contract and, if really necessary, should only refer to the most important actions related to the contract.

When we’ve forgotten about those provisions straight out of the paper-filled past, it is worth taking care of the more practical, contractual returns. When you sign documents online, consider including the following phrases:

  1. in order to effectively change this agreement, it is sufficient to keep the document form,
  2. the contract was concluded in electronic form on the Autenti Platform,
  3. the contract was concluded at the time the last of the electronic signatures was submitted, indicated by a disclosed timestamp that is in the details of the document contained in electronic form.”

We’d love for you to give signing electronic documents a try. So remember, if you settle on a convenient e-signature from Autenti, it’s most likely you will never go back to wasting paper!