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    Digital Signature

    Legality Guide

    Digital signatures are legally binding and hold the same value as handwritten signatures for most business and personal transactions across the globe. Documents signed with Zoho Sign meet the requirements of the ESIGN Act in the United States and eIDAS in the European Union (electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services), in addition to other national laws. Thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises from different parts of the globe sign their business and personal documents with Zoho Sign every day.  

    However, we often receive questions from new customers about whether digital signatures are valid in their country. To answer these questions, and to educate anyone who's new to e-signatures, we're publishing this Digital Signature Legality Guide to quickly explain the validity of digital signatures, legal models, and exceptions in certain countries. 

    Search Your Country

    Digital Signature Legality Guide in Australia

    What is court-admissible?

    This refers to whether documents signed with digital signatures can be submitted as evidence in a court. Nowadays, most countries support digital transactions and digital signatures, but with the consent of the parties involved.  

    What is a legal model?

    A country can either have an open or tiered legal model for digital signatures. Countries with an open legal model don't require any technology standards to receive special legal status for documents signed with digital signatures. This means documents signed with Zoho Sign are automatically considered evidence in a court of law.  

    Countries with a tiered legal model recognize Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)  , or its local equivalent, as a distinct type of digital signature. This means documents signed with QES are presumed authentic and immediately accepted as evidence in court. As such, documents signed with Zoho Sign will also be considered evidence in court along with some kind of proof.

    Exclusions for Australia

    • Documents that require notarial process
    • Documents related to migration and citizenship
    • Statutory declarations requiring a witness
    • Powers of attorney in some states
    • Bills of exchange 
    • Health insurance, life insurance and general insurance
    • Documents, notices, and consents of credit related services
    • Property transactions in South Australia 
    • Transfer of intellectual property 
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Argentina Yes (with some exceptions) Tiered Digital Signature Law

    Exclusions for Argentina

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Corporate minutes that contain resolutions, and appointments and removals of officers and directors
    • Resignation letters of employees
    • Agreements related to real estate rights

    Exclusions for Austria

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Legal transactions under family and inheritance law
    • Company registers

    Exclusions for Belgium

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate contracts that create or transfer rights
    • Contracts requiring the involvement of courts or public authorities
    • Contracts involving collateral securities furnished by persons acting for purposes outside their trade, business, or profession
    • Contracts governed by family law or the law of succession 

    Exclusions for Brazil

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Bermuda

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Real estate agreements
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Bulgaria Yes Tiered eIDAS regulation

    Exclusions for Bulgaria

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Brunei

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Canada

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate agreements, wills, and powers of attorney

    Exclusions for Chile

    • Agreements that requires attendance of one or more parties
    • Real estate agreements related to acquisition, modification, and extinction
    • Leasing agreements
    • Appointment of legal guardians of minors
    • Marital agreements
    • Declaration of wills
    • Mortgages 
    • IP transfers 
    • Documents that require notarization 
    • Agreements that require the physical presence of one or more parties 
    • Documents related to family law 

    Exclusions for China

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Personal relationship agreements
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Colombia Yes Tiered eIDAS regulation 

    Exclusions for Colombia

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Czech Republic

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Lease and real estate agreements
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Croatia Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Croatia

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Cyprus Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Cyprus

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Denmark

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Ecuador

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Egypt

    • Transfer of intangible property
    • Real estate buying and selling contracts
    • Documents that require notarization
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Estonia Yes Tiered Civil Code Act

    Exclusions for Estonia

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Finland

    • Real estate buying and selling contracts
    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for France

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Labor agreements
    • Some real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Germany

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Greece

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Guatemala Yes Tiered Electronic Communications and Signatures Law

    Exclusions for Guatemala

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Hong Kong

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Powers of attorney
    • Government leases
    • Some real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Hungary

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Family agreements
    • Marriage agreements

    Exclusions for Iceland

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Employee contracts

    Exclusions for India

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate agreements
    • Powers of attorney
    • Wills
    • Trust deeds

    Exclusions for Indonesia

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Notarial deeds
    • Court summonses
    • Bond certificates
    • Real estate documents 
    • HR documents 
    • Asset transaction documents 

    Exclusions for Ireland

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Trusts
    • Powers of attorneys
    • Property transactions

    Exclusions for Israel

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Italy

    • Loan agreements
    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Japan

    • Employment contracts
    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate property transfers
    • Wills

    Exclusions for Kazakhstan

    • Documents that require notarization
    • HR documents

    Exclusions for Latvia

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Lithuania

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Luxembourg Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Luxembourg

    • Government leases
    • Powers of attorney
    • Real estate agreements
    • Employment contracts
    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Macau

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Malaysia

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate property transfers
    • Wills
    • Money lending agreements

    Exclusions for Mexico

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Documents related to tax obligations
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Malta Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Malta

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for New Zealand

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Powers of attorney
    • Real estate agreements
    • Wills

    Exclusions for Nigeria

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Powers of attorney
    • Wills

    Exclusions for Netherlands

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Norway

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Debt certificates
    • Premarital agreements
    • Loan and security agreements

    Exclusions for Peru

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Mortgages

    Exclusions for Philippines

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Some real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Poland

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate agreements
    • Company shares
    • Bills of exchange

    Exclusions for Portugal

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Employee terminations
    • Real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Romania

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Some real estate agreements of immovable property
    • Personal guarantee agreements

    Exclusions for Russia

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Powers of attorney
    • HR documents
    • Some real estate agreements

    Exclusions for Saudi Arabia

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Singapore

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Negotiable instruments
    • Powers of attorney
    • Some real estate agreements

    Exclusions for South Africa

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Long-term real estate agreements
    • Changes of real estate property ownership
    • Wills
    • Bills of exchanges

    Exclusions for South Korea

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Changes of real estate property ownership
    • Transfers of intangible assets
    • Wills

    Exclusions for Spain

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Some real estate agreements
    • HR documents

    Exclusions for Sri Lanka

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Powers of attorney
    • Contracts governed by family law or the law of succession 

    Exclusions for Sweden

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Government agreements
    • Share certificates
    • Employee termination letters

    Exclusions for Switzerland

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Trusts
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Inheritence contracts
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Slovakia Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Slovakia

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Country Court- Admissible Legal Model Government Resources
    • Slovenia Yes Tiered eIDAS Regulation

    Exclusions for Slovenia

    • Documents that require notarization

    Exclusions for Taiwan

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Agreements with government agencies

    Exclusions for Thailand

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Contracts of immovable properties
    • Mortgage contracts
    • Some agreements of ships

    Exclusions for United Arab Emirates

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Wills
    • Employment agreements

    Exclusions for United Kingdom

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Marriage agreements
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Negotiable instruments

    Exclusions for United States

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Some real estate agreements
    • Wills
    • Divorce agreements
    • Codicils
    • Terminations of insurance

    Exclusions for Turkey

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Wills
    • Contracts under family law
    • Inheritance agreements

    Exclusions for Ukraine

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate agreements
    • Contracts under family law
    • Inheritence agreements

    Exclusions for Uruguay

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Real estate agreements
    • Labor agreements
    • Insurance agreements

    Exclusions for Veitnam

    • Documents that require notarization
    • Transfers of movable assets
    • Real estate agreements
    • Intangible property transfers

    Disclaimer

    The digital signature legality guide is the result of comprehensive legal research into the laws on digital signatures on a country-by-country basis. Though we have published this guide with the help of our legal team and technology experts, we request you to take the information for general information purposes only. You need to always take legal advice with a licensed attorney in your region since laws change frequently.