Guide to Legally Binding Online Contracts
Everything is done online and fast these days. People think of you from stone ages if you don’t know the proper use of technology. You don’t need to become a software engineer for that. Simply learn the practices where technology helps us. It will help you avoid any embarrassment, save time, and become more productive. (Image Credit: Catkin/Pixabay)
Every professional has to work with contracts at least once in his career. Even contracts are now made simpler with technology. You no longer need to sit with an attorney and post sealed documents for signatures from different parties. You can do it all within minutes using electronically signed contracts. Here is everything you need to know about online contracts to put them to practice.
Are Online Contract Legally Bounding?
Yes. Contracts made online are just as valued as any other contract. You may not realize it, but you’re making online contracts almost every day. When you install a software/app and accept its terms and conditions, it legally bounds you. Likewise, every website now asks for your permission to store cookies – you accept their terms by clicking a button with “I accept” or “OK” on it. It means you don’t always need to have signatures on the document to make it legally binding, whether you are forming a partnership for business or hiring a new employee.
Writing a Contract
Online or offline, the legal value of the contract depends on its content. For instance, you can’t have someone sign something illegal and expect it to be binding. You should know all the requirements of a contract when writing one. A contract must be written with carefully chosen words in a proper structure. Every must contract must contain the following elements.
- An offer
- Mutuality of obligation
- Clear intentions
- Capacity of parties
Create Soft Copy of Signatures
As the contract is to be signed online, you need to convert it in soft form. You need to have a protected soft copy of the written agreement. PDF is the most widely accepted format for this job. Secondly, you need a soft copy of your recognized signature. You can either scan your hand signed signatures or have a professional design one for you. This soft form of signature will then be added to the contract. Remember that the other party will also need to have a soft form of its signatures.
Use SodaPDF for E-Sign
To ensure the integrity and protection of an online contract, you will need to use an online service like SodaPDF. You can directly email the document to the other party, but what’s the guarantee that they won’t modify the document before putting their signatures. They can also replace your contract with a new one and edit your signatures on top of it.
Specify Official Emails
When you upload a document on Soda PDF for e-sign, it will be treated as a contract. Only authorized emails will have access to it, and any changes made in the contract will be recorded. That’s why you and the other need to specify official emails that can access the contract. This way, one can’t edit the changes without the consent of the other party.