During the crisis we did a lot of things simply: home office, video conference, chat…
And when it came to signing orders or contracts, a culture of trust quickly developed among some people. After all, we really had other worries in March and April.
Simply doing something will finally get us into action, where we often hesitated before. And we now know that normality is different from before the crisis, and that this state of “everyday exceptional situation” will continue for some time to come.
We also note that digitisation has finally come to stay.
It is therefore worthwhile to restore the current culture of trust to a legally secure state in the important areas.
There are three levels of security that you should be aware of.
Here is an overview of the possibilities of signing contracts and other documents in a legally secure way without a printer or fountain pen.
Whether signed directly in the PDF, e.g. on the tablet, or printed out, signed and scanned again, this signature has no legal effect. In most cases, the procedure is also quite cumbersome.
Nevertheless, it is certainly sufficient in many places in your company. In principle, we at Amazon and Co. don’t do anything else – in the meantime we even do it completely without a signature on delivery.
Again, this is about the culture of trust – with suppliers or customers with whom a long-term and good business relationship exists, this seems to be sufficient in the first step.
In times of crisis, however, you should also weigh up carefully how much is at stake in the specific business. Even without ill will, agreements may not be kept on the other side. And if your back is against the wall, you have to be the next one.
It is often used for e-mails. A clear assignment to a specific person is not given. The probative value is therefore low and insufficient for e-commerce or e-government, for example. However, it can be useful, for example, for electronic invoices from your company.
Here again it is a question of the culture of trust – with suppliers or customers with whom a long-term and good business relationship exists, this seems sufficient in the first step.
Think carefully about which of your business processes and which business partners require which type of signature.
Signature portals are a good way of dealing with this issue in a fairly comprehensive manner using a software solution.
- All security levels can be mapped – you choose the appropriate one.
- Usually a workflow design is also included – you can determine who receives and signs the document and in which order. And finally, the document may go to the secretary’s office for filing.
- Time is no longer a scarce resource when it comes to legal certainty.
- As cloud solutions, these portals work on all devices – even on the move.
- There is no need to install and maintain additional software.
Provider – examples (of course without guarantee of completeness):
- FP Sign (by the way, the digital product of the former manufacturer of Postalia franking machines – a nice example of digital change)
Adobe also offers possibilities for electronic signatures. This solution is more interesting for you if you are an Adobe customer anyway.
Usually it is no problem to get an activation for a free test.
Try it out and show yourself to your business partners as a modern entrepreneur.