How do you sign someone on a document over the internet?


I want to sign a freelancer on a legal document, what is the best way to do this?

The document is something like ten pages with the last page containing the place to put the signature.

Is it good to get from him an e-mail containing the whole document with his signature
added to the last page?

Legal Legal Documents

asked Aug 23 '11 at 01:10
125 points
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7 Answers


The vast majority of the time, I see parties sign agreements, then scan them to PDF and exchange via e-mail.

Recently, a small percentage of my clients have started using online services such as EchoSign (

I almost never see an exchange of signed originals nowadays, except when dealing with governmental entities.

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

answered Aug 23 '11 at 03:54
Dana Shultz
6,015 points
  • Thanks, that's what I did in the end, I also asked for a copy of the ID to confirm the identity, I think this is the most practical solution. – Fiftyeight 13 years ago


When did it ever come out of facour to use DHL to send paper documents around? Seems never, because I always get my cotnracts internationally delivered by DHL, sign them, send them back.

I suggest yo do the same. All electronic is not necessarily the best thing. The cost of a document exchange is quite low.

Altenatively go back to exchange SCANS - high quality - via email.

answered Aug 23 '11 at 01:33
Net Tecture
11 points


If you have an online fax service you can add signatures digitally right on the signature line. You just need to have a scanned image of the signature saved on your computer. The process is very simple - even simpler than printing the document, signing, and faxing it.

Internet fax services basically use your internet connection to fax, meaning you don't have to have a phone line or fax machine. It's an inexpensive alternative to faxing for businesses and individuals that want to save paper, have a more secure system, or increase efficiency.

answered Jun 14 '12 at 04:46
Jen B
61 points


I recently came to know that Adobe provides a service eSignatures using which one can e-sign a document. Though the service is in beta, but my experience of signing an NDA which someone wanted me to sign on, was smooth enough.

Hope that helped.

answered Aug 23 '11 at 04:10
Atul Goyal
496 points


I think the question is not whether you can sign something or not, the question is whether you can provide a verifiable means of authenticity about your identity and signature.
For dishonest people it would be very easy to...

  • Falsificate identity by scanning and combining passport, identity card, photo and signatures using photoshop or other software alike, or by the old way (a la "Catch me if you can").
  • Write anything that is no the real (legal) signature. As an example, here in Chile the signature is that one you declared and write in the Civil Register (here we have a national identification card where that goes) and no other thing you write (which maybe a complicated drawing instead of simply your handwritten name).

This is the typical problem of authenticate that a person really is who he/she says to be. There should be an institution/company like the Digital Certificate providers (such as VeriSign) that verify in reality that a person or company really exists in a determinate country to allow them perform electronic transactions. So, you have an entity to effectively sue if problems arise.

answered Aug 23 '11 at 10:52
Nestor Sanchez A
690 points

0 Might be a free solution that works for you.

answered Jun 14 '12 at 10:07
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points


My previous employer had contracts with various trucking companies, and exchanged those contracts almost always by sending the docs via email and having the company sign and fax back their signatures on the requisite pages. I asked them why they didn't use a more advanced technique like those mentioned (PDF signing, etc.) and their simple reply was that it was easier for their clients to handle printing out the contract, signing and dating the contract (with the appropriate version info on that page), and faxing back their signature page. We would scan the pages in ourselves for easy reference in our systems, but doing it this way made it simple for our clients. And there's the (admittedly little) bit of security that you're sending your fax to a verified number, and the personnel handling these would probably notice a strange signature on the scan. Hope this gives you another perspective.

answered Aug 24 '11 at 00:54
Craig Saboe
423 points

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