Top 10 eSignature Use Cases for Small Businesses

As a small or medium-sized business owner or manager, you often wear multiple hats across functions and departments: sales, marketing, HR, finance, legal, procurement and more.

This results in a slew of documents to keep the business moving—and a slew of required signatures on those documents.

That’s why DocuSign offers electronic signature software for small businesses that offers a way to obtain signature authorizations remotely. Using e-signature technology can reduce risks, save resources, and create a better customer experience when signing business agreements.

Whether you’re looking for a good place to start or for additional use cases to increase your business efficiency, check out some powerful ways in which small businesses use DocuSign eSignature.

10 eSignature use cases for small businesses

Sales contracts

Sales contracts are often a company’s most important documents. DocuSign eSignature users can execute sales agreements online, closing deals faster—in hours and minutes instead of weeks and days—even when the contracts require multiple signatures.

You maintain complete visibility into where sales agreements are in the signing process, enabling many sales processes to be automated and integrated with leading CRM systems, like Salesforce.

Purchase orders

A purchase order can be a simple, brief agreement form, or a much longer form that lists pricing terms, scope, shipping, intellectual property and other binding aspects of an agreement. As a practical matter, both seller and purchaser want to execute the contract quickly and efficiently – which they can do with DocuSign eSignature. As with all eSignature documents, the process is protected by multiple levels of encryption security.

Vendor/supplier agreements

Growing businesses rely on relationships with suppliers and vendors, and often spend considerable time and effort managing these relationships and coordinating procurement activities. To improve procurement, small business owners are moving from paper-driven to digital workflows. This change accelerates the procure-to-pay process while reducing the risks created by errors and the costs associated with paper document processing. And compliance with company purchasing policies is a breeze.

Change orders

For project-based small businesses like architecture, construction and web design, change is a constant. A client can make minor changes or take a sudden U-turn on what was previously agreed upon. Since compensation for hours beyond the original bid is subject to review, obtaining a signed change order is critical.

DocuSign eSignature makes the process easy and allows a firm to send out the change order soon after the change is requested. With an electronic signature, the firm can avoid a project holdup and easily maintain a complete digital “paper trail” for review in the cloud, anytime, from any device.

New customer forms

If a customer needs to fill out forms or other paperwork to do business with you, electronic signatures can save time and money. Paper-based consent forms, liability waivers, or policy updates often require you to generate multiple iterations of documents. The material cost of paper documents and the time it takes to read, process, track, and file customer forms can be considerable – and will likely result in a less-than-ideal customer experience.

Electronic forms enabled with DocuSign eSignature will solve these challenges and create a better experience for your customers. Your small business can create and bulk-send an easy-to-share online link for customers to review and agree to in advance, or customers can sign on-site at DocuSign using their own devices.

DocuSign eSignature has a special importance for small businesses that deliver custom-made goods, such as a print shop or a custom furniture maker. For these firms, final-approval documents are critical. eSignature lets you capture and file approvals with ease, and quickly move on to completing your customer’s order.

Real estate contracts 

Many state and federal regulatory agencies have amended their real estate rules to allow electronic signatures for real estate contracts—a trend that the pandemic has accelerated.

As a result, DocuSign eSignature has been used for tens of millions of real estate transactions, all of which are legally binding. For real estate and other sales contract documents, companies that use DocuSign eSignature achieve higher close rates, reduced time to revenue and improved sales rep efficiency.

DocuSign has developed a library of templates for real estate transactions. Visit the DocuSign website to learn more.

Intellectual property licensing & other legal agreements

Because electronic signatures are legally binding with a court-admissible audit trail, they are ideal for many legal documents, such as intellectual property licensing, partnerships and other agreements. With changes in regulations in the U.S. and other countries, electronic signatures and records can now carry the same weight and legal effect as was previously reserved for handwritten signatures and paper documents.

Non-disclosure agreements

In a competitive world, non-disclosure agreements provide security, enabling you to do business more freely with third parties. However, traditional pen and paper signature agreements are not only inconvenient, they’re also customer unfriendly. Your partners can sign DocuSign eSignature non-disclosure agreements on a laptop or via a mobile device, making them an easy and secure way to protect your proprietary information. And enabling you to work with third parties with confidence.

Employee onboarding

There’s plenty of paperwork associated with hiring a new employee: contact forms, benefits enrollment, automatic deposit for paychecks, and more. All those documents can be handled securely and easily with DocuSign eSignature.

Hiring documents can be filled out and signed electronically, followed by fast, automated dissemination of contracts and HR policy information back to employees. HR staff also save time by having an online dashboard to monitor the status of every HR document.

Parental consent and age verification

Gaming companies, photographers and entertainment firms often target an under-18 audience, which then requires a signature authorization by a parent or legal guardian. DocuSign eSignature provides for parental sign-off from a wide range of electronic devices and is designed to integrate with a number of ID verification software solutions.

Create your own templates within DocuSign, then re-use the legacy data within that agreement from authorization to authorization. You can even brand your DocuSign templates and their resultant emails to match your company’s visual identity.

DocuSign eSignature: easy to use, fast, secure

DocuSign eSignature is proven, field-tested software that has revolutionized the signature authorization process:

  • Easy to use – no long ramp-up times for staff to learn; staff and customers can sign from  nearly any device, anytime, from anywhere
  • Fast – the software includes built-in features that speed document processing
  • Secure – multiple levels of security protect your company and your customer or vendor.

Start using eSignature for your small business: Sign up for a free trial.

If you’re already a customer, discover more ways to use DocuSign with this DocuSign University learning path.