Contracts are legally binding documents that indicate that you and another party have come to an agreement. You can sign contracts with your handwritten signature or by using an electronic signature.
Electronic signatures are becoming increasingly more common as they are convenient and cost-effective. Rather than printing out, signing, and rescanning documents, you can sign and send documents online with just a few clicks.
While wet ink signatures are still very common in professional settings, their inefficiency is making businesses reconsider their options.
Do Contracts Require Signatures?
Contracts lay out the terms of an agreement between two or more parties. To make contracts legally binding and enforceable, all parties involved need to sign the document.
By signing, you are acknowledging and agreeing to the terms laid out in the contract. This will help protect your rights and interests should any disputes ever arise down the line.
Signing a contract indicates that you are aware of your responsibilities and obligations, as well as those of all other parties involved.
Seek legal advice before signing contracts
Before signing a legally binding contract, you should always make sure to consult an experienced legal professional for advice.
A qualified attorney can help you better understand the terms of the contract and your options for signing and returning the contract.
2 Ways to Sign Contracts
If you’re wondering how to sign a contract, there are two primary methods: using handwritten signatures or electronic signatures.
Wet ink signatures
Using a handwritten signature is the traditional way to sign a contract. Your signature is a unique identifier that verifies the authenticity and validity of the document.
Handwritten signatures are still commonly used in professional settings, but they are rapidly falling out of favor due to their inefficiency and inconvenience.
Electronic signatures, or eSignatures, are a popular alternative to wet ink signatures. After creating an electronic signature using a platform like jSign, you can sign contracts online with the click of a button.
You can add signatures, initials, and dates without needing to print out your documents.
Are Electronic Signatures Legally Binding?
Electronic signatures are legally binding so long as certain steps are taken to prevent document tampering. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act makes electronic signatures legally valid and enforceable as long as they comply with certain rules.
The ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) together make eSignatures legally binding as long as all parties involved agree to sign the document digitally.
A contract that is signed electronically may not be considered valid if a judge determines that the document could have been altered by an unauthorized third party or if the method of signing otherwise violates the ESIGN Act or UETA.
ESignature platforms like jSign provide legally compliant signatures by implementing features like two-factor authentication, blockchain stamping, and audit trails to prevent tampering and verify the authenticity of documents that are signed online.
Why Use Electronic Signatures to Sign Contracts?
Wet ink signatures may be commonplace, but they aren’t the best method for signing contracts.
Electronic signatures provide unmatched convenience and flexibility when signing contracts or other important documents.
Electronic contract signing doesn’t require individuals to print, scan, or mail contracts. Instead, you can create your document, add your signature, and send the contract to other parties to collect their signatures.
This streamlined process makes it easier to finalize important business and personal documents quickly.
Platforms like jSign also let you create reusable online contract templates and store your documents online for easy organization and access.
How to Sign Contracts Online
There are many ways to use electronic signatures to sign documents online. Microsoft Word, for example, has built-in eSignature capabilities, though it is not the most intuitive option available.
The most convenient way to sign contracts online is to use an electronic contract signing platform like jSign.
With jSign, you can:
- Create and upload documents
- Add signature placeholders
- Insert your electronic signature
- Send the document to other signers
- Set alerts and reminders for documents
- Track documents
- Receive a Certificate of Completion when your document is ready to go
You can manage your contacts, organize your documents, sign contracts, and collect signatures all in one place.
Create & Sign Contracts Online With jSign
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to manage and sign contracts and other documents, jSign offers a variety of unique features that set it apart from other platforms.
Easily create electronic signatures
You can use jSign to easily create a personalized electronic signature. Simply write your signature using your device’s touchscreen, use a signing pad, upload a photo of your signature, or choose from several signature templates. Once you create your signature, you can easily insert it into any document.
Create contract templates
If you regularly reuse the same contract (e.g. employment contracts or NDAs), you can create an online contract template and save it to your account for future use.
Sign contracts and collect signatures
After you sign contracts online, you can add as many signers as necessary to your document. Only the creator of the document needs jSign, so you can collect signatures from others even if they don’t have an active subscription.
jSign uses blockchain stamping to create verifiable audit trails. This helps prevent tampering and ensures your documents are unaltered and legally binding.
Easily store your documents online for future reference. jSign is also compatible with popular cloud storage apps like OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive, making it easy to access and organize your contracts and other important documents.
Sign Up Now
While handwritten signatures are still common, switching to electronic signatures can save you time and money while streamlining communications and workflows. jSign is a leading electronic signature platform that makes it easier than ever to sign contracts online.
jSign is available as a limited free trial featuring all of its capabilities, and paid plans start at just $9.99 a month.
Join today to start signing documents online!