Last updated on:
November 7, 2022

Global ecommerce and remote work have exploded the growth of eSignature tech. A 2020 study showed that e-signature tech had a market size of $2.8B, which is expected to grow to $14 billion by 2026. Companies have transitioned to e-signatures and digital document management for a number of reasons, including decreased environmental impact and convenience.

Companies like SignHouse offer intuitive document management systems and e-signature software to help companies increase efficiency and collaboration every day. And over the course of this article, we’ll describe what an eSignature is and how to create one yourself.

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature, or eSignature, is the digital version of a wet signature. It doesn’t have to be a copy of your pen-and paper signature and doesn’t have to look like handwriting. It doesn’t even have to be your full name. You can use it to sign documents just the same as you would a physical signature. 

What SignHouse’s eSignatures do for your customer experience

Did you know you can cut down the time for a document to be signed from days to minutes? Getting everyone to sign a physical document takes an average of 5 days, while an e-signed document can be passed around digitally and signed in around 37 minutes. Talk about making deals easier! 

Different e signatures and pdf tools

SignHouse isn’t just an eSignature software. It also features a full suite of document management tools that allow you to add signatures to multiple different formats, including PDFs, checks, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

If you’re not ready for a signature yet, SignHouse also has multiple different templates so you can create the document you need in any situation. Whether you need a rental agreement, freelancing contract, or a nondisclosure agreement, SignHouse has a template for your deal. 

If you have an existing PDF contract that needs editing, SignHouse also has PDF manipulation tools and tutorials that allow you to edit text, add or subtract pages, add signatures, and more. 

What does an electronic signature guarantee?

An electronic signature guarantees the integrity of a document and your approval of it. The signature is the last part of the document that can be edited, and once it’s signed, it can’t be edited and re-saved again. An e-signature created with electronic software comes with a tamper-proof “digital seal” that shows its authenticity.

Is an electronic signature legal?

Different countries have different regulations around e-signatures. Some countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, have a very permissive attitude toward e-signatures and recognize them as equal to a wet-ink signature. 

Other countries have tighter regulations surrounding e-signatures. There are limits on the sorts of technology that can be used to create a fully legal e-signature. Most European countries follow the eIDAS structure. This sets common regulations for e-signatures across all EU countries. 

In parts of South America and Asia, an e-signature may not even be valid in all situations even if it follows all the regulations. E-signatures can be valid for private-party contracts if both parties agree, but wet-ink signatures are sometimes still required for official documents such as marriage, divorce, or other government records.

Why switch from using basic electronic signatures?

You can absolutely create a digital signature in Microsoft Word. However, it does have limited functionality, especially at larger capacities, and isn’t as intuitive for non-tech people to use. 

A basic digital signature is just as legally binding as a software-backed e-signature is. However, it doesn’t come with the same third-party verification and security functions that an e-signature does. 

Introducing SignHouse: a simple way to sign documents online

SignHouse offers a full suite of e-signature and PDF management tools that are not only useful for your business, but also easy for your clients or partners to use.  SignHouse’s e-Ssignatures arewere built around US and international regulations for e-signatures, and are as trusted and valid as physical signatures. We built our e-signature software around three key pillars: 

  • Mobile-first: The future is mobile. Don’t let being away from your computer keep you from signing on a deal. 
  • Trackable signatures: Signature tracking reduces errors and lets everyone stay on the same page. 
  • Purpose-built for real estate: Real estate people are BUSY. Clients aren’t always tech-savvy. And when you need to sign a contract, it needs to happen fast. SignHouse keeps all your documents in one place, and gives you an easy way for everyone to e-sign without getting tied up in the tech.  

Benefits of using SignHouse as your e-signature software

SignHouse was created to have all the things you need to create great documents, and none of the things you don’t. 

  • It’s as hassle-free as it comes – just drag and drop
  • You can create a unique digital signature, or upload one from your handwriting.
  • It’s mobile-friendly – you don’t have to run back to your desk to sign things.
  • Live customer support

How to add signatures to a PDF using SignHouse

Upload your PDF to SignHouse using the box below:

Create your eSignature with SignHouse’s signature generator

Fill in who needs to sign it. If it’s just you, you’re done! If it needs to go to other people as well, just let us know where it needs to be sent. 

Wait for your signatures! 

How to sign documents for free

SignHouse offers a free version for companies or individuals that sign five or less documents a month.

And it isn’t just a trial! You can use the service forever.

Plus, If you don’t already have the document you need, have a look through our templates!. Choose a PDF or a Google doc from our template library, and get started! 

How to add signatures to a Google Doc

Step 1. Upload your Google Doc to SignHouse.

Step 2. Set rules in the doc for who can sign. 

Step 3. Drag and drop your signature in the doc, and send it on to the rest of your team. 

E-signature best practices to add to your workflow

If your team is going fully remote or paperless, it’s good to have some ground rules in place. Digital documents are just as easily lost as their physical copies if there aren’t good organizational systems in place. 

  • Create a file for all documents that need signatures. 
  • Employment contracts
  • Finance forms such as expense reports or check request forms
  • Sales and purchase forms
  • Phase it in gradually
  • Educate everyone on your team on how to use e-signatures properly. 
  • Establish approved signers for different levels of responsibility. This shouldn’t be a problem if you already have approved signers for paper documents.
  • Decide if your company will allow all types of digital signatures, or will require a certain format (typed, handwritten .jpg format, finger on screen, etc)
  • Start out with e-signing documents that won’t have a major legal impact if disputed. Internal documents are good candidates for this. 
  • Map document lifecycles
  • Make a workflow for where documents will originate, next steps, and with whom the final signed document will end up. 
  • Measure success! Track how much time, work, and paper you’ve saved over the first few weeks or months of your e-signature integration process.  

Conclusion

Our increasingly digital, fast-paced world needs a high-speed solution to sign documents quickly and remotely. That’s where eSignatures come in. They help to speed up the process, are legally binding, and as you can see, incredibly easy to use across a wide range of documents. 

So why not join the revolution yourself? With SignHouse, we have a full suite of eSignature tools and templates to help you get your documents signed in a timely manner. Have a look at our free plan, to see how you can get started!  

FAQs

Can a signature be typed?

Your signature 100% works and is 100% legal if it's typed, if you're using an electronic signature software!

Why? It's validity is given by other factors: 

  • As per the eSignature (2000) and UETA (2000) Acts passed by the US Government, alongside other requirements (explained in-depth by us here), one of them is this: “Attribution. The signature has to be uniquely identified to the signee and only linked to them”
  • Using an electronic signature software such as SignHouse automatically handles that, as such apps easily attribute signatures with identifiable details (e.g. account information, location, IP, etc)
  • Another requirement for a digital signature to be valid: “Retention. The documents must be stored for future reference, available to be viewed, reviewed, edited, etc. by both parties”
  • SignHouse takes care of this aspect as well.

Therefore, typing your signature makes it valid, due to the aspects that an eSignature software handles for you.

Can you scan a signature?

Absolutely! To do so:

  1. Write down your signature on a piece of paper
  2. Open up SignHouse
  3. Start creating an "envelope": a document that will be sent for signatures
  4. Add yourself as a signee
  5. Upload the picture to use it as a signature! 

Does Android have a signature app?

No, Android phones and tablets don't have an app that lets you create a perfectly working electronic signature. Instead:

  1. Use SignHouse to create your signature (it's free and quick);
  2. Save it as a PNG or JPG;
  3. Upload the signature on your Android device's document.

Can I sign a PDF contract online?

Yes, and it's 100% free. Upload your PDF contract to SignHouse, create your free electronic signature, and then drag and drop it on the PDF.

About the author

Ch Daniel is the co-founder of SignHouse and chairman of the CH Group. Daniel is leading the development of SignHouse's product, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: empowering 100M+ to use the world's most efficient document organisational tools.

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