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November 30, 2022

Are Scanned Copies of Contracts Legally Binding

The hardest part is avoiding fraud. Electronic signatures that comply with electronic signature laws such as ESIGN have built-in anti-fraud technologies to ensure that the electronic version of signatures cannot be used. It doesn`t make much sense to know that your scanned signature will be accepted if the contract to which it belongs has fundamentally changed and you can`t prove that it does. In our opening example, the seller would have to prove that the customer changed the price to 50% of the original. It is an expensive thing. Secure digital signatures, with anti-fraud technology components and creating fully verifiable leads are the only real way to create contracts of trust. Before the days of digital documents, the standards for what was an original document and what was a copy were clear. With regard to the legal validity of a copy or fax, an institution had to determine whether the electronic file constituted proof of a contract and whether the signatures contained therein served as proof of the acceptance of a contact. As fax machines became increasingly popular, few courts and companies accepted facsimiles with signatures as “original” until 1995. Today, documents and faxes transmitted electronically are often sufficient as proof of an agreement or at least serve as provisional evidence until the original is available. Whether a scanned or electronic document is as credible or valuable as the original depends on the company`s document management procedures and the document in question. If a customer needs Polygon`s document recovery services after a disaster, they have the option to scan their documents.

For some, scanning offers a sufficient and effective way to recover corrupted documents. Others request document scanning and retrieval services, especially if they want to access a document`s information and the original needs to be restored. When you participate in Polygon`s Code Blue program, a specialist will help you determine your document recovery needs in advance to ensure that your company`s important files don`t hinder continuity efforts after a disaster. Talk to a specialist today to learn more about integrating document recovery into your disaster recovery plans. For government agencies, faxed copies are generally not acceptable when a legal document needs to be submitted. This is because file or record bodies only accept documents that contain original signatures. In the absence of proof, a scanned signature is considered a copy and not an authentic signature! It is therefore not legally valid, in particular in the case of contractual documents. Companies looking to reduce their paper stack may want to migrate their files to a digital database, but are wary of the legality of the process. What are the rules for document management and, most importantly, are scanned documents legally accepted? If you need help determining whether a faxed document is legally binding, you can publish your legal needs in the UpCounsel marketplace. UpCounsel only accepts the top 5% of lawyers/lawyers on its website. UpCounsel`s lawyers come from prestigious law schools such as Yale Law and Harvard Law and typically have 14 years of legal experience, including on behalf of or with companies such as Airbnb, Menlo Ventures and Google. While courts consider certain types of digitized documents and contracts to be credible, there are cases where a company should keep original copies.

These documents include: The biggest problem with scanned, copied or faxed documents that contain signatures is proof that the party in question signed them if the original parties were not together at the time of signing. While modern technologies give more credibility to scanned or copied documents, evidence remains a problem. To give more credibility to electronic copies, a company may require a party to sign a document in the presence of a notary before submitting it. For important work files such as employment contracts, stock contracts and general publications, the retention of original full signed documents remains a best practice. However, original signatures, including notarial documents, are no longer as legally important as they once were. While many companies continue to keep original employment records in dusty and crowded files in the event of litigation or government audits that may never take place, these employers may be able to clean the house by scanning the records and throwing away the originals. Printing of an electronic or scanned copy is generally permitted in court and is accepted by a government agency during an audit, provided that the employer can establish the authenticity of the copy. Therefore, the only way to create trust contracts is to use secure digital signatures that include anti-fraud technology components that create fully verifiable leads. A legally binding signature formalizes an agreement once all parties have signed a contract.3 min read In practice, it is good to be able to prove that a contract exists in the event of a dispute. For this reason, it is advisable to use a form that allows a (certain degree of) proof. In this regard, a paper document or a document with an officially recognized electronic signature is preferable, a scanned document or an e-mail are generally acceptable, an oral agreement is likely to be problematic.

So you have a great customer and now you sign a contract to make sure everything is agreed and recognized between you. The contract contains details and promises, such as what you will deliver and when, and also indicates the price that the customer will pay on delivery. Then you both come to sign the contract. The problem is that you live on different continents. Postage, also accelerated, takes at least 2 days and could be lost. So you both opt for an electronic contract. You sign on the dotted line, scan the contract and send it by email to finally sign it from your client. At least you have now signed your electronic contract, certainly with scanned signatures, but you can start working and meet this tight deadline. It is quite common for different parties to exchange signed documents online in signed form (for example, remote employment contracts). Would those documents have any power in the courts? Is it necessary to use the original documents for them to have legal value? As long as the signature represents who that person is and what their intent is, all trademarks are considered valid and legally binding. Signatures are usually saved with a pen, but this is not always the case.

In the U.S. and Canada, when it comes to intent and consent, electronic signatures are as legally sound as a hand-signed signature. Due to the large-scale shift from paper to digital, legislators passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and Domestic Commerce Act 2000. The law recognizes the validity of contracts and electronic records as having the same weight as paper counterparts. As it falls under federal law, this applies to all agreements considered for interstate trade, but states have different laws when it comes to digital signatures. The scanned documents that are most likely to go to court are hard copies that a company scans and stores electronically because they record handwriting. To increase the credibility of a document, a company should retain the original document, as the rules of evidence place the burden of proof on the party who loses the original document. Scanned documents are also more likely to be considered credible if companies have established records management policies. Scanned or faxed copies of the originals may not be accepted by some institutions, organizations or institutions.

This applies to processes or transcripts completed by government agencies.