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Are e-signatures legal in Singapore?

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More and more companies are increasingly using electronic signatures (e-signatures) as they operate their business in a fast-paced digital world. Are you nervous about whether they’re suitable for your business? Read on to find out more about e-signatures and their legality in Singapore.  

What is an e-signature? ​

An e-signature is a digital version of your old-school pen and paper signature.  It helps you sign documents online without having them physically in your hands. It can be anything from a squiggle on a screen, to a signature created using your finger, to using a platform that renders your typed name into different fancy fonts.

Are e-signatures legal in Singapore?

Yes! In Singapore, e-signatures have been legally recognised since 2010. It was put into play by the Electronic Transactions Act, which gave businesses an option to use it while trading and have it be given the same weight as hand-written signatures.

Can I use e-signatures in my business?

Yes! E-signatures are highly used during your day-to-day business work or to close deals. With business owners having a tight schedule, e-signatures makes it efficient and fast. You can use e-signatures in the following situations listed below –

  • Commercial agreements between organizations, purchase orders, and sales agreements
  • Consumer agreements such as services terms, sales terms, and purchase orders
  • HR documents such as employment contracts, NDAs, privacy notices
  • Software license agreements
  • Copyright, patent, trademark, service licenses

Are e-signatures court admissible?

Yes! One main thing about e-signatures that people always wonder is that, if things go sour, whether or not an e-signature is admissible in court. In Singapore, e-signature cannot be rejected as evidence in court just because it is not handwritten.

Are there any areas that I should avoid using e-signatures in my business?

Cases requiring handwritten signatures or formal notarial process are not usually compatible with e-signatures or any form of digital transaction.  In Singapore, the Electronic Transactions Act excludes the following activities, which means that you should not sign them via e-signature –

  • The creation or execution of a will
  • Negotiable instruments, documents of title, bills of exchange, promissory notes, consignment notes, bills of lading, warehouse receipts or any transferable document or instrument that entitles the bearer or beneficiary to claim the delivery of goods or the payment of a sum of money
  • The creation, performance or enforcement of an indenture, declaration of trust or power of attorney, with the exception of implied, constructive and resulting trusts
  • Any contract for the sale or other disposition of immovable property, or any interest in such property
  • The conveyance of immovable property or the transfer of any interest in immovable property

Benefits of using e-signatures

There are several benefits to using e-signatures in your company.  A report by AIIM found that 81% of digital signature users saw a payback within 12 months, and 25% saw ROI in three months or less.

Save travel time

You do not have to travel to another location or overseas to get a document signed. With e-signatures, you can send a document over via email and the document can be returned at a time convenient to the responding party.

Detect errors

Imagine when an error has been made through a handwritten email? What is the next step? You have to re-print the entire document again. With e-signatures, you are just one click away from deleting the error and signing properly again.

High level of security

E-signatures are more secure than signatures written on paper. By signing a document through e-signature, it will contain traceable information on who has signed the document, when was it signed and where did they sign it.

Quick turnaround

Instead of the repeated process of mailing a document to another party, getting them to print, sign, scan it and sending it back to the sender, takes a long time. Instead, an e-signature can be used where a document can be signed within seconds. The faster the turnaround, the more it gives your business versatility.

Save cost

Calculate the amount of money spent on buying paper, paying for postage and mailing supplies over the time? You can now save all the money spent on the above by making a switch to using e-signatures.

Convinced yet?

For costing the same amount as a cup of coffee per week, introducing e-signatures into your business is an easy way to streamline your business. At Sleek we use e-signatures daily to get companies up and running faster. Get in touch to find out more.

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