7 options for negotiating contracts online

In today’s world, an increasing number of negotiations are taking place remotely, and with digital signatures being as legitimate as those made by hand, the number of useful applications for revising, organizing and signing documents online is growing.


Although new to the digital signature scene, Contractually boasts several impressive features to speed up the negotiation process. You can use their lawyer-reviewed forms, add one of your own, and even customize your forms with their online contract editor, which notifies all parties of any changes made to their contracts, as well as the differences between different versions.

Contractually also goes some way to eliminating confusing emails and other communications around negotiations with built-in questions, requests, and replies that are kept with the contract and that are visible to all participants. Plus, all messages, attachments and change histories are stored with contracts for future reference.


ContractPal calls itself an “electronic signatures cloud” and offers several features to help reduce certain hassles of contract negotiation, like incomplete documents, which are reduced through what it calls a “reflexive questioning engine.”

ContractPal also automatically routes forms and agreements based on content and parameters you set so that you’re not waiting on approvals or revisions. Plus, it can even accept payments.


GoPaperless is another solution that provides simple digital signing of documents. Not quite as feature-rich as Contractually or ContractPal, it’s an easy-to-use alternative that offers basic “click to sign” functionality with security through layered encryption, password-protected signing sessions and session activity tracking.

It also provides the ability to export to a variety of formats, as well as have multi-party contracts with a controlled sequence of signers.


Another simple and straightforward solution, DocuSign’s basic-level service collects electronic signatures, authenticates recipients and tracks all activity for a document and is available online and through mobile devices, like the iPhone and iPad (s aapl).

It offers several additional features with its more advanced editions, including collaboration, document routing, and user and group management.

Adobe eSignatures

Adobe eSignatures (s adbe) has been around for a while and was reviewed by Charlie just last year.  It offers perhaps the most basic of e-signing solutions and is free to use. Just upload your document, enter the email address of your recipient, select a due date, and sign the document yourself, unless you opt to sign after all other signatures have been collected.


RightSignature might tout the fastest process for sending electronic documents for signature with its “one-minute send,” but it also offers more elaborate features than services like Adobe eSignatures, such as handwritten signatures, webcam photo authentication, digital fingerprints and iPhone mobile signing.  It also offers a unique “NaviGuide” flag to point signers to the next required field, as well as a checklist and progress meter to show users what needs to be done to complete the process.


EchoSign works in more of an email-like interface and allows you to control how your documents are signed, whether by e-signature or fax. Its “MegaSign” feature is helpful for documents that require acknowledgement from large groups of people, at the end of which a complete activity report is generated showing who has and hasn’t signed the document. This is helpful for things like policy changes and other situations where you need all employees to sign off on something.

What applications do you use for negotiating contracts and getting them signed online?

Photo courtesy Flickr user sure2talk