Are contracts executed online legally valid and binding?
Yes. Documents executed online with electronic signatures are legally valid and have the same legal standing as paper documents executed by hand. It is highly likely that you have already contracted online. For example, when you click on an "I Agree" button on the internet, you are usually a party to what is known as a Clickwrap Contract. Also, when you purchase goods online, you are a party to a legally binding contract.
RightSignature's technology is in full compliance with the 2000 U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), as well as the European Directive (EC/1999/93), all of which intended to encourage the rapid adoption of electronic signatures and decrease use of antiquated paper methods. Each of these acts reinforces the validity of electronic agreements. According to ESIGN, for example, a contract "may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because an electronic signature or electronic record was used in its formation."
References for further reading:
"Electronic Signatures and Online Contracts," Nolo.com article
Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament
U.S. Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)
Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
Is RightSignature giving me legal advice?
RightSignature does not provide any legal advice and, due to the varying circumstances of each agreement, cannot guarantee the validity of any document executed online. Please see our terms of service. We encourage you to consult your attorney with any questions.
In what jurisdiction is the contract actually signed?
The jurisdiction of a contract is usually defined in the text of the document. Just like a document signed via fax or express mail, a document signed on RightSignature is subject to whatever jurisdiction the document establishes in its jurisdiction clause.
What precautions should I take?
RightSignature's digital documents are just like normal paper contracts, and you should use the same precautions you would with a written or faxed contract. For instance, before proceeding with a deal, ensure that the contract is signed by both parties. View the RightSignature Signature Certificate online and/or download a copy of the executed agreement to your computer. Check to see that all signatures look reasonable and correct, just like you would with a written or faxed contract.
For more information on the legal validity of documents executed with RightSignature, please see our Legality page.