There are steps you can take to reduce risk by checking the identity of the company and individual you are dealing with. Once you are sure of your partner's identity. You can also sign legally binding contracts via the internet.
There are 4 steps you should take here:
Whether in the digital or physical world, you should carry out the same level of due diligence regarding both sets of identity.
We have suggested using Graydon with regard to credit standing – but you can start with:
Once you have confirmed the details of the company – and possibly also checked their entry in Kompass for further details – you can cross-check the identity of the person with whom you are dealing (are they a director)? (listed on the website?). Can they be reached via the company’s switchboard? Do they have a company email address?
eSignatures are now recognised under English Law. In fact, from a number of points of view, they are preferable to signatures written by hand. This greatly facilitates B2B eCommerce allowing for the electronic exchange of signed commercial documents.
LawBite's Document Management Platform provides not only a legal library, and a system for the management of electronic documents but also the facility to e-sign documents. Print or e-sign - You have the option to download, print or send your documents digitally to use e-signing.
See the video: Checking, e-Signing and filing.
N.B. An eSignature is not simply a scanned image of a handwritten signature pasted into a document. There are a number of companies that provide eSignature services – some of these are listed under The ExportersAlmanac - eSignature Solutions.