Does a contract need to be signed by both parties?

There are a variety of documents that don’t need both parties’ signatures to validate them. These include tax forms, documents submitted to courts, questionnaires, etc. However, when we speak about contracts, both parties have to sign them to make them valid.

What is a Contract?

A contract is a written agreement between two or more parties to do something in exchange for remuneration (money paid for work or service). If the agreement is oral, neither party has to validate it. However, if the agreement is written, both parties become liable for their sides of the deal. Law enforced the written agreements via signatures of the responsible parties.

Here are two aspects that make contracts legally binding:

  1. The agreement is closed when one party accepts an offer from another party.
  2. Something is used as compensation in return for goods or services.

What if a Contract is Signed By Only One Party?

A contract is enforceable only if it is signed by all parties. When signed by all parties, it’s much easier to resolve the related disputes in court. If just one party signs an agreement, it is considered not legally binding. However, there were cases when courts recognized the written agreement valid even though it was signed by one party only. But situations like that are exceptions.

Note: technically, an agreement signed by one party can be valid in some cases. For example, when you send a signed job offer to a new employee. Sometimes, It’s sufficient when one party signs the document, while the other party starts completing the provisions in the contract. Still, in most cases, if signed by one party, it is not legal.

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What is the Best Way to Sign a Contract?

There are two ways to validate a contract: the traditional one via a handwritten signature and a more modern one an electronic signature. While a physical one was the only option until recently, e-signature is in full swing now. Still, there are cases when only one or the other is allowed.

Handwritten signatures really look extremely outdated. It takes too much time, effort, and cost for companies to deal with handwritten signatures. Imagine you signed an agreement, now HR needs to scan it, upload it to the computer and put it in the relevant folder.

On the other hand, e-signatures helped streamline the signing process. Today you can add a signature to a Word document with the help of Microsoft Office. You can also use Adobe Reader to sign a PDF document. However, businesses choose to employ more modern e-signature software and application tools. With their help there is no need to put up with long queues and inconvenient working hours, you can validate agreements on the go, even while commuting.

What are Benefits for Signing a Contract with an e-signature?

It’s a safe bet that e-signature solutions will grow in number and start hitting the market in the upcoming years. But what makes them so popular with businesses? Are they really worth investing in? To answer this question, let’s see what benefits e-signature tools have to offer:
  1. Cost-efficiency. Companies no longer have to spend money on paper, ink, delivery, etc.
  2. Enhanced performance. E-signatures help speed up processes, achieve more, and improve quality.
  3. Advanced security. E-signature software is capable of detecting changes and preventing fraud.
  4. 24/7 operation. Your customers can sign contracts at any time. At night, in the morning, on the weekends or even on holidays.
  5. Customer satisfaction. You can win and retain new customers by creating favorable conditions for them while cooperating with you.

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How to Sign a Contract with signNow?

Among a variety of e-signature platforms, signNow is a robust, full-featured tool that has the upper hand in the market. It’s helped thousands of companies streamline their signing processes. Among them XEROX, CBS Sports, Tech Data, AMGEN, Colliers, and others. Not only is it compliant with the most popular security standards, but it also has a proven effect of boosting team productivity. Before sending, you can even edit your document.

To validate a contract with signNow, follow the instructions:

  1. Open signNow.
  2. Place a cursor where you want to create a signature field.
  3. Add signers.
  4. Create a signing order.
  5. Send the document out for signing.

signNow lets you create a link for a document and send it via multiple channels like email, SMS, etc. To protect the document it’s also possible to set up two-factor authentication. signNow is available on all devices (desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones).

By signNow's Team
By signNow's Team
May 07, 2020