Owning and operating a small business is likely to involve a fair number of contracts. The way contracts are designed and implemented has changed substantially due to technological developments in recent years. Using digital signatures has streamlined the process of contracts and how business owners use them for day-to-day operations.
Contracts in the Digital Age: What You Need To Know
Digital Signatures Are Valid: Just because a person doesn’t physically sign a contract with a pen does not mean that the contract has any less validity. The ability to sign contracts with digital signatures involves a process that verifies the identity of individuals that are “signing” the documents.
Email is the New Handshake: In the past, business owners operated with relatively relaxed ways of conducting business. For some, a conversation sealed with a handshake was worth just as much as a signature on a piece of paper. While emails aren’t exactly handshakes, confirming delivery of goods or services via email can potentially land you in legal trouble if those promises are not met. Be careful about typos, and even more careful about the way you write things before clicking “send.”
Enforcing Digital Contracts: Whether a small business uses contracts on paper or online, both are equally enforceable by law. A contract presented on a screen retains the same amount of authority and authenticity as contracts printed on paper. Be sure not to disregard or ignore contracts signed with digital signatures at your small business to prevent any possible legal issues.
Managing a small business will undoubtedly involve a few contracts along the way, but thanks to technology you can skip the fax machine and save time and money. What kind of contracts do you prefer to use at your small business?
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Asha Wilkerson is the founder of The Wilkerson Law Office. Ms. Wilkerson provides skilled advice and counsel to for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based organizations in the areas of business and employment law. The mission of The Wilkerson Law Office, is to preserve the longevity of your business by ensuring that every aspect of your organization is legally sound and operating in compliance with state and federal law.