To work with a company or individual entrepreneur, you need to conclude an agreement. Sometimes the counterparty offers to exchange signed scans of contracts by e-mail. Does this scan of the contract have legal force if you have not exchanged the originals? Suddenly, in the future, you will have disagreements and the counterparty will declare that he will not pay, he did not sign the contract, and this scan of yours is “filkin’s letter”. A contract formed and executed via email is considered to be a valid and legally binding contract, as long as all of the necessary elements of a contract are present. These elements include offer, acceptance, consideration (or something of value exchanged between the parties), and the parties’ intent to be legally bound.
However, the enforceability of a contract formed via email may be subject to certain state and federal laws, such as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), which have been adopted by many states to govern the use of electronic signatures and records.
Additionally, some contracts may be required by law to be in writing and signed by the parties, such as a contract for the sale of real estate or a contract that cannot be completed within one year.
It is also important to consider the authenticity and integrity of the email and attachments, as well as the possibility of hacking or unauthorized access to the email account.
To ensure that your contract will be legally binding, it is important to have a clear and concise communication, including all the terms and conditions, and the acceptance or rejection of the offer, and to keep a record of all the communication.
The practice of exchanging scans of the contract and related legal force documents in electronic form between parties is gaining popularity. This helps to significantly speed up the work process, especially if counterparties are located in different cities and regions, or for other reasons cannot or do not want to sign a “live” document.
Let’s figure out when you can work on scanned copies and how to protect yourself from recognizing such an agreement as not concluded or invalid.
General requirements for the form of a certified transcription
According to the Civil Code of the England Manchester , a legal aid translation can be concluded in writing, orally, by conclusive actions and silence. The written form can be simple and notarial. Most transactions in circulation are in simple written form. To do this, you need to draw up a contract and sign it.
Gone are the days when only a handwritten squiggle on paper was considered a signature. Now any symbol, text, graphic image, personally added by a person to the text of a document, can act as a signature. (eg facsimile).
The Civil Code of the England Manchester establishes a number of cases when the contract must necessarily be drawn up on paper:
for this transaction, the law provides for a notarial form;
the contract needs state registration (mostly these are real estate transactions).
As for the simple written form, the law does not prohibit the exchange of contracts in electronic form, sending them by mail, fax or telegram. You can sign the contract, scan it and send the pdf-document by e-mail. Article 434 of the Civil Code of the England Manchester establishes two conditions for the application of this method:
it should be possible to reliably establish that the documents were sent to each other by the parties to the transaction (if you send a scanned copy by e-mail, then in the event of a dispute you will need to prove that the mail address belongs to you);
the document in electronic form must be stored somewhere by electronic, magnetic, optical and similar means, including the exchange of information in electronic form and electronic mail.
In order to avoid problems with the recognition of the legal force of the scanned contract, it is necessary to follow certain rules that have been developed by practice.