Electronic signatures - are they really legally valid?
The short answer: absolutely!
The agreements you sign using Stiply are legally valid.
We will subdivide the question into three parts to explain this.
In the Netherlands and most other European countries, an agreement is made on the basis of offer and acceptance. This can be done verbally, on paper or electronically via the internet, as long as the parties express their agreement with the content of the agreement.
Once everyone agrees with the agreement, it is binding and the parties must comply with its contents. If signatories express their agreement by means of a Stiply electronic signature, a legally binding agreement will arise.
If someone uses an electronic signature, their identity must be verified to a sufficient degree. But not every situation is the same, and in some cases you will want to know who is placing their electronic signature with a greater degree of certainty than in other cases. Stiply offers several methods of identification, such as email and text verification, direct debit authorisation and soon also IDIN.
In order to decide which method of identification you need, the rule of thumb is that the more important the contract, the more you have to be certain of who is digitally signing the contract.
Digitally signed documents can be submitted in court as evidence. It is important, however, whether the identity of the signatories has been established with sufficient reliability in relation to the importance of the case (see also the previous heading). If so, the Dutch court, as well as most European courts must assume that the agreement exists, unless it is proved otherwise.
Stiply’s audit trail further adds to this probative force: an exact log is created of each step in the signing process.
Want to know more?
Our lawyer, will gladly answer all your questions about legal validity.