7 min

Qualified signature – a new feature available in Autenti

A qualified electronic signature is a solution that few companies use on a daily basis, preferring to choose the traditional written form. It is used almost exclusively in communication with public administration, due to the legal requirements for certain documents. In business relations, the qualified signature is practically not used. Meanwhile, this form of signing documents has great advantages. Through the use of a qualified signature in Autenti, you will change the way of concluding the most important contracts in your company.

Which documents should be signed with a qualified signature?

According to the law, a qualified signature is equivalent to a handwritten signature. In Polish regulations, for the effectiveness of certain documents or contracts, it is necessary to maintain a written form. In accordance with the law, the electronic form meets all the requirements of the written form. The written form can be obtained by handwritten signing of the document and the electronic form using a qualified electronic signature. You can find out more about the various forms of making declarations of will on our website: About document, electronic and written forms

The written form is required for employment contracts, contracts for the transfer of proprietary copyrights, exclusive license agreements, etc. 

Furthermore, companies often require this form of concluding and amending the contract in its content, even though it is not a legal requirement. This way, they limit their possibilities of proceeding and changing the content of such contracts because they have to sign the documents by hand.

How does Bold Pixel use Autenti to enter into contracts that require a written form?

Autenti's clients include many IT companies that develop software. Developers often work with companies only for a period of specific projects. The code they produce is a type of unique work. Due to the above, companies should ensure the transfer of proprietary copyrights regarding the developed software, from developers (contractors) to IT companies (principals). In such cases, software houses sign contracts with developers for specific work with the transfer of proprietary copyrights. Such contracts will not be valid unless made in writing.

 BoldPixel, a Warsaw-based gaming studio operates in a similar model. Developers who can work from anywhere in Poland work on individual projects. The best developers participate in creating games, regardless of their location. The nature of the work requires developers to transfer proprietary copyrights to Bold Pixel, thus it is necessary to use a qualified electronic signature.

"I had the pleasure to test how the qualified signature works on the Autenti platform with the example of my own company. I sign contracts for a specific task with developers with the transfer of proprietary copyrights, and such contracts must be in writing. The nature of the work of IT specialists often makes it possible to complete orders remotely. The requirement of a written form significantly complicates and lengthens the process of concluding contracts with developers" says Kamil Brzeziński, CTO of Bold Pixel. "Thanks to Autenti, we also signed contracts with business partners and, to our surprise on the part of the partner, the contract was signed quickly and without additional questions, despite the fact that they do not have an account on Autenti and have not signed contracts this way before." 

You can also buy a qualified electronic signature through Autenti.

How to send a document in Autenti that requires a qualified signature?

The type of signature applicable to a given document is determined by the sender of the document.

Log in to Autenti and click "Create a new document". You will be redirected to the screen that will allow you to add documents to your signature and indicate recipients. By adding addressees of the document, you specify the type of signature to be used to sign the document. In this case, check "Qualified signature".

Remember that in the case of documents that require a written form, each party should sign them using a qualified electronic signature certificate. In the list of recipients next to your user, click "Edit" and also select "Qualified signature" as the one that you, being the sender, will sign the document with. When you complete the required fields for sending documents and add all recipients of the document, click "Send document". The addressees will be able to sign it.

How to sign a document that requires a qualified signature?

Currently, Autenti enables the use of a qualified SimplySign electronic signature certificate. This means that to sign a document with a qualified signature, you must have a valid and working SimplySign certificate. The addressees of the document sent for signature receive an email with a link redirecting to the website, which will display the document and allow them to sign it. After accessing the document, select the appropriate consents, select the certificate supplier (SimplySign) and proceed.

In the next step, log in to your SimplySign account by providing the correct email address and a one-time password from the Certum Token mobile application.

After successful authentication, a list of available qualified certificates will appear. Select the one you want to use for signing and enter the PIN for the certificate. Then click "Sign".

The document will be signed with your qualified signature. On the last page of the document, a visualization of the signature appears along with the information downloaded from the certificate. The same information is contained in the electronic layer of the document.

Once all addressees sign the document, it is additionally sealed by Autenti in an electronic way. A document signed this way meets the requirements of the written form thanks to the use of a qualified signature and does not require printing and sending by regular mail. After the document has been signed by all recipients, it is shared with all parties by email and as part of their account, if they have one.

Remarks

Currently, Autenti supports electronic document signing in PAdES format. This means that we sign PDF files. Qualified signatures are often used to sign XML files (XAdES format) in communication with the public administration authorities. This is how financial statements are signed and submitted, for instance. Currently, Autenti does not support the signing of documents in XAdES or CAdES format.