Classification of Law
eSignature Legality Summary
Under Singapore 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 or in a physical paper document. To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. Leading digital transaction management solutions should provide electronic records that satisfy any requirements for writing under the Electronic Transactions Act and are admissible in evidence under the Evidence Act, 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, shipment documentation, user manuals
- software license agreements
- IP licenses, including patent, copyright and trademark
- intangible property transfers (e.g., patent and copyright assignments)
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 - wills
- Handwritten - negotiable instruments
- Handwritten - documents of title
- Handwritten - bills of exchange
- Handwritten - promissory notes
- Handwritten - consignment notes
- Handwritten - bills of lading
- Handwritten - warehouse receipts or any transferable document or instrument that entitles the bearer or beneficiary to claim the delivery of goods or the payment of a sum of money
- Handwritten - the creation, performance or enforcement of an indenture
- Handwritten - declaration of trust or power of attorney
- Handwritten - any contract for the sale or other disposition of immovable property (except implied, constructive and resulting trusts), or any interest in such property or the conveyance of immovable property or the transfer of any interest in immovable property
Local Technology Standards
As a Tiered eSignature Legal Model country, Singapore supports the concept of a 'Secure Electronic Signature' (the local term for a Qualified Electronic Signature), which requires both digital signature technology and certification of the digital certificate provider by a certification authority licensed by the government. QES is is not necessary for an eSignature to be considered a valid signature for any transaction. Currently, there is a single digital certification authority able to issue certificates necessary for a Qualified Electronic Signature.
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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