Is it Legal to Sign a Document Online?

With incredible benefits like cost reduction, fewer errors, less time-taking, and effective document management, signing legal documents online simply makes sense

But is it really a safe way to go about it? Can you sign legal documents online? Are electronic signatures valid? And if so, then how can you sign a document online? 

We know you have these, plus many more questions. This post answers all of them so you know exactly how to legally sign documents online. 

What is an electronic signature?

Electronic signatures, otherwise known as e-signatures, are a quick digital way to sign online documents. When a document contains an e-signature, the signer agrees to the terms and conditions mentioned in it.  

You can create an e-signature in many ways, including a person typing their name, drawing their signature on a touchscreen, or using specialized e-signature software like Blueink

E-signatures are nothing new; they have existed since the early 2000s, when the legal framework for electronic transactions was first established. However, their usage has 8xed in the last five years as businesses and individuals realized they’re a much faster, easier, and more storage-friendly option than pen-and-paper contracts.

In fact, e-signatures are so convenient that almost every industry uses them—business, finance, legal, healthcare, and more. They simplified remote work, reduced paperwork, saved time, and removed the need for physical storage space—almost everything a fast-growing, modern business needs today.

Can electronic signatures be considered legally valid?

An e-signature can only work if it’s legally valid. The good part is that e-signatures aren’t popular just because they’re easy to use but are also legally recognized and accepted in many departments worldwide.

When properly used, they create binding and enforceable contracts. In the United States, for instance, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) help regulate e-signatures and give them legal validity.

The ESIGN Act passed in 2000, initiated the legal framework for electronic signatures at the federal level in the United States. It makes sure that e-signatures are legally valid and legit, just like their traditional counterparts. 

Similarly, the UETA, adopted by 47 U.S. states, gives a set of rules governing electronic transactions, further solidifying the legal status of e-signatures.

Not just in the United States, many other countries and regions have also acknowledged the concept of e-signatures, each with its own set of regulations and standards. Therefore, e-signatures are globally accepted, making them a versatile tool for individuals and businesses dealing with international transactions in their daily jobs.

Plus, the definition of an e-signature is quite flexible. Many technologies and methods qualify as e-signatures, ensuring flexibility and adaptability. Whether it's a typed name in an email, a digital signature on a PDF document, or a biometric signature captured on a tablet, these various e-signatures all serve the same purpose: to indicate the signer's intent to be bound by the document's contents.

Global acceptance and validity of e-signatures 

The United States and many other countries accept the legal validity of e-signatures. Here are some of them:

European Union

The European Union was among the first few to regulate e-signatures through the eIDAS Regulation (electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services). 

This regulation accepts the legal validity of e-signatures and establishes a framework for trust services like electronic seals and time stamps. E-signatures are considered valid and legally binding across EU member states, ensuring seamless cross-border transactions.


Countries like India and Singapore have enacted electronic signature laws in Asia to simplify digital transactions. India, for example, passed the Information Technology Act 2000, which provides legal recognition to e-signatures and digital documents.

Middle East

The Middle East has also accepted e-signatures, with countries like the United Arab Emirates recognizing their legal status. The acceptance of e-signatures has led to a rapid growth of e-commerce and online transactions in the region.


In Canada, electronic signatures are legally valid, according to ‌federal and provincial laws. Each province has legislation governing electronic transactions, but the principles are consistent nationwide.

Best practices to follow while signing/accepting e-signed documents

While e-signed documents are legally valid, there are some things you can do to protect against fraud and provide assurance that the signature is genuine.


Proper authentication is crucial to verifying the identity and credibility of the person signing the documents. 

Blueink enhances security by providing multi-layered strong identity authentication options, such as email verification, SMS codes, biometric authentication, and selfies. These measures help prevent unauthorized access and fraudulent signings.

Security measures

Strict security measures are essential for safeguarding e-signatures and the documents they accompany. Encryption techniques protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data, while tamper-evident seals confirm that the document hasn't been altered after signing.

Audit trails

One significant advantage of e-signatures over traditional signatures is the presence of audit trails. Audit trails are ‌the history of any signed document activity. 

It’s a detailed record of the signing process, including who signed the document, when it was signed, and any actions taken afterward. It comes in handy while authenticating e-signatures in a legal context.

Legal evidence

Blueink generates a digital certificate for each signed document to increase its legal standing. These certificates contain cryptographic information that can be used to verify the signature's authenticity in court.

Types of documents you can sign online legally 

E-signatures are suitable for a wide range of documents in both the business and personal realms. Common examples include:

  • Contracts and agreements: General business contracts, transactions, and daily documents that need immediate action. 
  • Insurance applications: Insurance companies use e-signatures for policy applications, making the process easier and quicker for customers.
  • Real estate transactions: Real estate documents, such as purchase agreements and leases, can be signed electronically.
  • Healthcare forms: Patients can electronically sign consent forms and medical records, streamlining administrative tasks in healthcare settings.
  • Financial documents: Banks and financial institutions use e-signatures for loan agreements, account openings, and other financial transactions.

Sign and store documents online legally 

One-word answer: Yes. Electronic signatures are legally valid, and using them is one of the best ways to simplify your business activities in so many ways.

Blueink offers a cost-efficient, highly secure, and signer-friendly platform. Schedule a demo today >>


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