Court-Admissible Show more 
Yes
General business use Show more 
Yes

Classification of Law

Civil Law

Macau's legal system is a mixture of Roman civil law and Anglo-American common law systems.  Civil law operates in areas such as family relations, property, succession, contract, and criminal law, while statutes and principles of common law origin are evident in such areas as constitutional law, procedure, corporations law, taxation, insurance, labour relations, banking and currency.

Civil law systems are based on concepts derived from old Roman law, distinguishable by their reliance on having a comprehensive set of rules and principles codified and easily accessible to both citizens and legal professionals. Codified laws are regularly revised to reflect the current environment, and have stronger emphasis in civil law countries than any precedent set by earlier court cases. Civil law countries cover more than 65% of world’s legal system, including the majority of continental Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

eSignature Legality Summary

Under Macau law, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract - contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically (so long as they can be produced in a physical form and its its integrity can be demonstrated) or in a physical paper document (Articles 211 ff. and 362 of the Macau Civil Code). To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. Leading digital transaction management solutions can provide electronic records that are admissible in evidence under Articles 355 and 362 of the Macau Civil Code and Article 450 ff. of the Macau Civil Procedure Code, to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract.

Use Cases for Standard Electronic Signature (SES)

Use cases where an SES is typically appropriate include:

  • HR documents, such as regular employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, employee invention agreements, privacy notices, benefits paperwork and other new employee onboarding processes
  • commercial agreements between corporate entities, including non-disclosure agreements, purchase orders, order acknowledgements, invoices, other procurement documents, sales agreements, distribution agreements, service agreements
  • consumer agreements including new retail account opening documents, sales terms, services terms, software licenses, purchase orders, order confirmations, invoices, user manuals, policies, but excluding consumer loan agreements
  • software license agreements

Use Cases That Are Not Typically Appropriate for Electronic Signatures or Digital Transaction Management

Use cases that are specifically barred from digital or electronic processes or that include explicit requirements, such as handwritten (e.g. wet ink) signatures or formal notarial process that are not usually compatible with electronic signatures or digital transaction management.

  • Handwritten + notarization – acquittal or discharge of any obligation, when the fulfilling party so requests (Article 776 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Handwritten + notarization - assignment of the rental contract for commercial purposes to a third party (requires the witness of the signatures by a notary under (Article 1049, §2 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Handwritten  + notarization - residential and commercial lease agreements (Article 1032, §1 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Handwritten  + notarization - revocation of Residential and commercial lease agreements by mutual agreement of the parties, to be used as “enforceable titles” (Article 1015, a) of the Macau Civil Code) - Handwritten + notarization)
  • Handwritten + notarization - most acts relating to corporations when they do not involve the assets for which transmission a public deed is required, namely acts of incorporation (Article 179 of the Macau Commercial Code), assignments of quotas in private limited liability companies by quotas (Article 366 of the Macau Commercial Code), resignation of directors in private limited liability companies by quotas (Article 388 of the Macau Commercial Code)
  • Handwritten + notarization - certain commercial surety contracts, namely commercial pledge (Article 915 of the Macau Commercial Code), fiduciary transmission in guarantee (Article 918 of the Macau Commercial Code), floating guarantee (Article 931 of the Macau Commercial Code)
  • Formal notarization - powers of Attorney that confer generic civil or commercial administration powers, powers for exchange transactions, powers that involve the confession, waiver or transaction in judicial proceedings, and representation powers to intervene in acts that should be executed through public deed or similar notary instrument (Article 258, §3 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Formal notarization - public works contracts (Decree-Law 74/99/M)
  • Formal notarization - promissory contracts to purchase or transfer real property with real efficiency (Article 407 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Formal notarization - acts that import the recognition, constitution, acquisition, division or extinction of property rights, usufruct, use and housing rights, surface rights or servitude rights over real property, whether gratuitous or onerous (Article 94, §1 of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - certain contracts governed by the law of succession, such as contracts of inheritance (Article 94, §2, (a),(b) of the Macau Notary Code), contracts transmitting, renouncing to or waiving inheritance when the inheritance comprises real assets (Article 94, §2, (h) of the Macau Notary Code), public wills (Article 2039 of the Macau Civil Code)
  • Formal notarization - certain contracts governed by family law, such as marriage contracts that cannot be or the parties don’t wish them to be executed according to the rules governing Civil Registry (Article 94, §2, (c) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - notarial Justifications (Article 94, §2, (d) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - Strata Deeds (article 94, §2, (e) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - contracts for perpetual rent and lifetime rent if, in this case, the transmitted thing or right is valued in more than MOP500,000 or if that is the required form for its sale (Article 94, §2, (f) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - acts for the transmission of the property or use of a commercial enterprise, as well as the constitution of real use or guarantee rights over it, when the commercial enterprise comprises real assets (Article 94, §2, (g) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - division of common assets and property sharing in relation to inheritance, companies or any other common assets that comprise assets for which transmission a public deed is required (Article 94, §2, (i) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarizations - acts of incorporation, spin-off or merger of companies, as well as the respective articles of association and amendments thereto, when they involve the assets for which transmission a public deed is required (Article 94, §2, (j) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - incorporation of groups of economic interest, consortium contracts and joint-ventures, when the interests provided comprise assets for which transmission of a public deed is required (Article 94, §2,(l) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - assignment of assets to creditors when it comprises assets for which transmission of a public deed is required (Article 94, §2, (m) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - contracts of extrajudicial transaction when from them effects that require a public deed may derive (Article 94, §2, (n) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - constitution of associations and foundations, including the respective articles of association/charters and amendments thereto when they involve the transmission of real assets (Article 94, §2, (o) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - constitution and modification of mortgages over real assets, the transmission thereof of the change in the priority of the respective registration and the pledge of mortgage credits that must be registered with the land registry (Article 94, §2, (p) Formal notarizations - of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Constitution, modification and discharge of the consignment of earnings and fixing and amendments of monthly alimony when charged over real assets (Article 94, §2, (q) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization - financial leasing contracts over real assets (Article 94, §2, (r) of the Macau Notary Code)
  • Formal notarization – any acts that import the revocation of modification as well as rectification of transactions that, by force of law or will of the parties, have been executed under public deed (Article 94, §3 of the Macau Notary Code)

[1] An AES type of electronic signature that is unequivocally associated to the person of its holder, allowing his/her identification, created with means he/she can maintain under his/her exclusive control and is in such way connected to the document it was placed on that any subsequent changes are detectable.

[2] A QES means the type of advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate and created through a secure signature-creation device, susceptible to efficiently guarantee, according to internationally recognized standards, the protection of the signature against fraudulent uses. QES is characterized by the involvement of a certification-service-provider.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing electronic signature may change quickly, so DocuSign cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

Last updated: November 01, 2019

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