A suggested way to get your agreements signed quicker, more easily and reliably

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Traditionally where a party seeks to enter into an agreement with another party they may post the agreement to them and request they sign and return the document where it has been flagged.  This can create problems, for example, if the agreement is not signed nor returned, is signed but not returned or it is signed and there is a delay in having it returned.  This is particularly the case where parties wish to commence their commercial relationship quickly or are located distances apart from each other.

In an age where electronic communications are far quicker than traditional methods of communication, businesses can improve their efficiency by utilising new electronic programs to conduct these transactions.  Docusign is one of these programs.

How does it work?

Docusign is an online cloud-based program that allows businesses to send documents electronically for signing. Businesses upload document templates and identify where on the document the recipient needs to sign or enter additional information. The program then sends the document to the recipient by email or by notification to them. The recipient is guided through the document to complete all information fields and their signature(s) before the document is returned to the sender. Both parties can then print the document, save it to their own database and retain an electronic record of when the document was accessed and signed.  To view a demonstration click here.

Are these electronic signatures binding?

Yes. Signatures are an indication of an intention to agree to the contents of a document, and in the case of a contract – to be bound by its contents. The Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth) requires electronic signatures to adhere to a method which identifies the signatory and their intention in respect of the information communicated, and which is reliable to fulfil or in fact does fulfil these functions.

Docusign documents fulfil the functions under the Act, are court-admissible and provide a digital audit trail that comprises the signatory’s name, authentication history, digital signature, email address, IP address, chain of custody (of the document), timestamps, geolocation of the signatory (if provided) and completion status of the document. This can be useful evidence in any legal proceedings that may query the enforceability of any document.

Are the documents private?

Yes.  Additionally, Docusign does not show any personal information or allow documents to be accessed until the recipient has successfully identified themselves. Only the business who has issued the document, and the recipient can view it (not even Docusign staff!).

How can other businesses use Docusign?

All sizes of businesses – from sole traders to large corporations can employ Docusign to reduce paper usage, postage costs and delay in finalising matters.  Pragma has recently commenced using Docusign.  There are other businessed like LinkedIn and Australia Post that use it too. Go to https://www.docusign.com/ for more information.

Questions? Give us a call.

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