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How can you sign remotely?

When talking about signing a document remotely, several procedures can be considered:

–     the traditional procedure of the original copy exchanged by post: this process allows you to have the original of your deed or contract signed by hand by each of the parties. However, this signature procedure can be long and currently, because of the closing of many post offices, it is unlikely that it will be efficient.

–    sending to the other party a scanned copy of the contract signed by each of the parties: this procedure of signature allows the parties to exchange the signed copies of the deed very quickly (if the said parties have each a scanner at their disposal). However, case law gives little value to the scanned signature as it rules, that it is insufficient to ensure the authenticity of a party’s legal commitment.

–     the electronic signature: this procedure was legally recognized by the French Law number 2000-230 of 13th March 2000 and is now governed by the European Regulation No 910/2014 of 23rd July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market. It allows the parties to sign a document almost instantaneously, in particular by using a software to which the parties have access via a link received on their e-mail address. In order to ensure the legal validity of the signature and of the signed deed, it is necessary to use the software of a qualified Trust Service Provider (TSP) that allows advanced signatures and qualified signatures (in this respect, Arst Avocats uses DocuSign).

Can I use the electronic signature for all documents?

While this electronic signature used to meet opposition (from private individuals, professionals and the public administration), it is now increasingly being implemented and accepted.

It can thus be used to sign:

–     As regards contract law: all your contracts and amendments (service agreement, franchise contract, lease agreement, et. seq.).

–     As regards company law:

    • Deeds relating to the incorporation of a company;
    • Preparatory acts for meetings (convocations, management and special reports, reports of the directors);
    • Private deeds relating to unanimous decisions of the partners being valid as minutes of general meeting on the condition that this latter type of collective decisions be  statutorily authorized, and, during the holding of the meeting, the attendance sheets and minutes of the general meeting;
    • Deeds relating to the transfer of shares (the registration department agrees to record deeds signed by electronic means);
    • Shareholders’ agreements and other internal regulations.