Are electronic signatures binding?


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses necessarily shifted to remote and digital work. In that shift, the use of handwritten or original signatures was largely shunted aside in favor of electronic signatures.

In a prescient approach, New York State already had a long-standing statutory framework recognizing the validity of electronic signatures on most documents.

In 2000, New York State adopted the Electronic Signatures and Records Act (ESRA). This Act gives electronic signatures, as well as other electronic markings, the same force and effect as a handwritten signature. All businesses are bound by this law and must accept electronic signatures as detailed in ERSA.

In addition to a signature, any “electronic sound, symbol or process, attached to or logically associated with an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record” is also acceptable. This includes checking boxes or clicking an “I Agree” button as well as other marks clearly denoting a signature.

It bears noting that the statute specifically excludes the use of e-signatures on certain types of documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

For more information about this article or other issues, please contact us, The Bachman Law Firm PLLC at judith@thebachmanlawfirm.com or 845-639-3210.

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The Bachman Law Firm PLLC helps business clients with matters including lawsuits, collections, real estate, contracts, corporate issues, and trademarks and copyrights. With offices in New City, the firm serves clients in New York and New Jersey including those in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Rockland, Westchester, and Bergen. 

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