What is an electronic signature?
Electronic signatures are a way to electronically sign a document. It enables you to sign legally binding contracts online without printing paper or using a pen. An electronic signature can take many forms, such as a scanned image of a handwritten signature, a typed name, or a specific code or algorithm.
EU member states govern electronic signatures under eIDAS regulation, which sets standards for electronic signatures, seals, and time stamps. In the US, The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act), governs the validity of electronic records and signatures.
Why is it important to know for in-house legal counsel?
Electronic signatures have become ubiquitous. 95% of organizations either currently use e-signature or plan to use e-signature in the future, according to a survey by DocuSign.
As a legal counsel, understanding electronic signatures is not just a matter of keeping up with the latest technology; it’s about providing your clients (and in-house users) with fast and efficient solutions to their legal processes. Electronic signatures can save you time and hassle and ensure your clients’ agreements are legally binding and enforceable. Next time if you have a situation where you need to sign a document but can’t be there in person, remember – electronic signatures have got you covered.
Electronic signature in Microsoft Word
To make an electronic signature in Microsoft Word, use the built-in signature line feature, enter the signer’s name, and sign the signature line using a touchpad, mouse, or stylus.
- Click where you want the line.
- Click Insert > Signature Line.
- Click Microsoft Office Signature Line.
- In the Signature Setup box, you can type a name in the Suggested signed box. You can also add a title in the Suggested signer’s title box.
- Click OK. The signature line appears in your document.
Third-party digital signature service providers from the Office marketplace offer a granular level of digital signature assurance, providing additional options for electronic signatures.