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Summary:

How do you get your contracts signed? Are you faxing them back and forth or using the mail? Today, there are affordable online digital signature services. EchoSign let you upload a document requiring a signature and email it to the person who needs to sign it.

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How do you get your contracts signed? Are you faxing them back and forth? Or are you using the mail? Today, there are affordable online digital signature services. EchoSign let you upload a document requiring a signature and then email it to the person who needs to sign it. The recipient signs the document by typing in their name and initial, and then hitting the “Click to Sign” button. A PDF file is then sent out to everyone who needs to receive it. A backup copy is placed into your EchoSign account in an easy-to-manage archive.

If faxes are still in your business mix, or if you have a hard copy of a contract but no scanner, you can use EchoSign by faxing your document into the system, which converts it into an electronic version and emails it to the recipient for signature. And if the recipient is using a fax machine, they can print out the attached PDF, sign it, and fax it back into the EchoSign system to close the loop. You still have the digital paper trail and archive.

EchoSign has an open API and is being integrated into other software, including Salesforce, Google Apps, NetSuite, and Zoho Writer. There is even an EchoSign widget that lets you post a PDF that needs to be signed to any website.

In case you’re wondering if digital signatures are legally binding, rest assured. In 2000, President Clinton signed the ESIGN Act, which was meant to do for revenue under contracts the same thing that e-commerce did for revenue from physical goods. The law deemed that the digital signature would have the same legal affect as a written signature.

EchoSign is free for accounts that you can use every month for up to five signature transactions. Only the last five documents at any given time are archived for free. For $14.95 per month, you can upgrade to the Pro level which will give you up to 500 signature transactions per month, and the last 500 documents are archived. Their Team Level is for two to nine users and ranges from $40 per month to $180 per month with unlimited signature transactions, unlimited archiving, as well as corporate branding and shared documents. Prices go up from there for enterprise accounts.

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  1. Adobe has a free (for now?) e-signature service. I think it’s out of beta now; see https://esign.adobe.com/

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