How to Create an Electronic Signature
Today, it's common to establish contracts or close sales without ever meeting clients face-to-face. In large part, electronic signatures help make this possible. In addition to being recognized as a legally-valid form of signature, electronic signatures provide a faster, more efficient way to execute agreements than printing, signing, scanning, copying, and sending paper documents. This saves businesses time and money with the added benefit of having a more secure, reliable method for sharing, storing, and tracking critical documentation.
In this article, you’ll learn how to create an electronic signature in ReadySign, how to e-sign documents, and what documents you can sign electronically to simplify your workflow and expedite signing.
How do I create an electronic signature on a document?
Creating an e-signature request is a simple process and can be accomplished in a few different ways. With ReadySign, it’s as easy as adding signature fields, designating your signers, and sharing or saving your document. Here are some of the basic methods for creating an e-signature with ReadySign:
1. Upload a document to sign yourself
If you have paper or digital files that require your signature, uploading them into ReadySign is easy. Just scan your papers for upload and drag and drop your digital files into the system where they can be prepped for signature and securely stored and monitored. Once uploaded, select yourself as the signer, add the signature fields to the file, save, and then sign. You can also add any fields not present in the original document, like checkboxes and explanatory text.
This is a quick, simple method for signing documents that only require your signature, and won't need to be sent to someone else for approval or review.
2. Send a document for one or multiple people to sign
You can send an e-signature request to just about anyone, whether they're inside or outside your organization, and even if they don’t have a ReadySign account. Creating an e-signature request for others is similar to signing a document yourself, except you’ll assign one or multiple other parties as signers and place their signature fields accordingly. Choose to route the request to all signers at once, or set an order for who signs first, second, and so on. You can also add contacts to be notified when the agreement is finalized to keep colleagues and key stakeholders informed.
When you need documents signed by one or more people, this method provides far greater control over the signing process than using paper forms, while allowing you to track signature statuses in real-time.
3. Share a link that anyone can use to sign documents on-demand
We’ve covered how you can send e-signature requests to specific individuals, but what if you want to make sales orders, activity waivers, or other standard forms available for others to sign on-demand? ReadySign allows you to generate an AnySign link, which is a link to a standard template that can be e-mailed or embedded on a website, allowing others to initiate signing. When signers click the AnySign link, they’ll be prompted to electronically sign the document, which is then automatically stored and accessible within your account.
This method allows you to set up an AnySign Link Signing template once, then share and reuse one link to collect signatures for that document repeatedly — reducing the time you spend preparing files for signature.
How do I sign documents with an electronic signature?
As for the actual signature, there are a few ways you can sign a document.
- Manually draw your signature
- Upload an image of your signature
- Type your signature
All options are recognized as legally-binding forms of signature, but consult your organization’s individual policies to determine if they contain specific signature requirements. For example, some internal policies may require all parties to draw their e-signatures so they resemble their handwritten signature.
1. How to manually create, or draw, an electronic signature
With ReadySign, you can create an electronic signature by hand on any device, using your finger, mouse, or stylus. To create an electronic signature resembling your handwritten signature in ReadySign, open your e-signature request and select the settings icon. Select Signature Options from the settings drop-down and choose the Draw tab to customize your signature. You can then form your signature using your mouse or with your finger or stylus on a touchpad or touchscreen. Once saved, apply your unique electronic signature with a click to complete signing.
2. How to create an electronic signature by uploading an image
To create an electronic signature in ReadySign using an image, take a photo of your signature and save the file as a PNG, JPG or GIF. Ensure your image is well-lit and that your signature is clearly displayed. Then, select Signature Options within the document you’re signing and choose Upload. Your unique signature will be captured from the image upon upload and can be applied to signature fields.
3. How to create an electronic signature by typing
One of the easiest ways to create an electronic signature is by simply typing your name. To do this in ReadySign just open your e-signature request, select Type under Signature Options, enter your full name and initials, and select your preferred font. When you e-sign a document, you’re assigned a distinct identifier that acts as a unique signature or thumbprint. This serves as proof of association of the signature with the record, a requirement essential for electronic signatures to be recognized as legally binding.
Regardless of how you create an electronic signature, whether hand-drawn or typed, your e-signature will contain the same layers of authentication and security built-in. For ReadySign, these advanced security measures include data encryption, multi-factor authentication, audit trails, access controls, and more, ensuring your data is protected and your e-signatures are legally valid.
What kinds of documents can I e-sign?
Electronic signatures can be used to legally sign nearly any document, with few exceptions such as wills and testamentary trusts as outlined by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Some examples of the types of documents you can e-sign include:
- Sales contracts
- Vendor forms
- Employment contracts
- Consent forms
- IEPs, ARDs, & 504s
- HR agreements
By using electronic signatures to sign internal forms such as policy updates and HR agreements, as well as external forms like purchase orders or vendor contracts, you can put an end to chasing signatures and help streamline document sharing across your organization.
To see how fast and affordable it can be to simplify your document signing process, request a ReadySign demo today.