How To Sign Contracts Online

By | March 19, 2012

Because I sell 5-10 domain names a month, I frequently need to sign domain name sales contracts. The way it works now is that I print out the contract, sign it, and then fax it to the buyer or scan it into my computer and email it to them. They then have to do the same. None of this is a big problem, but there are 2 new free digital signature services I just tried that make this process much easier: SignNow.com and HelloFax.com. Both sites offer a basic level account at no cost (you can pay to upgrade for additional benefits), which is fine for my needs.

To use these services, you upload the document you want to sign (like a Word file or PDF file), then click where you want to sign it and it inserts your signature. With SignNow.com you type your name and it then lets you choose from a bunch of computer generated signatures, or you can upload your own signature file. HelloFax.com has you draw your signature using your mouse, or you can upload it. With both sites, once you use your signature the first time, it saves it for future use so the process is a lot faster. And, for both sites, I created a free account (no credit card needed) and had my signature on a document within 2 minutes without reading any instructions.

Both sites are setup so once you sign the document, you can then email it to the other party for them to sign electronically (or if needed they can print it out and sign it). HelloFax.com has the added advantage that it will fax the contract to the other party for you, if they don’t want it emailed. Just enter their fax number instead of their email address. If you sign up for their $4.99/month plan they will even give you a virtual fax number so people can fax documents to you and they will be put as PDF files in your HelloFax account, and you can then sign them electronically or print them out or download them.

There are several other eSignature services, such as echosign.com, but I have found those to be harder to use because they focus much more on larger corporate clients. They are much better suited for a company that has multiple employees, like for example when more than one person at the same company needs to sign a contract.

Note: I am not an affiliate or associated in any way with the companies mentioned in this blog posting.

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4 thoughts on “How To Sign Contracts Online

  1. Joseph

    Joseph here, cofounder of hellofax. Thanks for the mention! We started as an online faxing company and then gradually started working on more e-signature tools, since we found people still needed to print, sign & scan before sending off a document. We thought it’d be easier if you could just do it all in the browser. Anyway, glad you found it helpful!

    Best,
    Joseph

  2. John

    Just one problem. There are companies like us who would not want sensitive or confidential documents being post out there.

    1. admin Post author

      I am not sure that would really be a problem. None of the documents you upload are viewable by the general public, only you and the other person signing it. Also, you don’t have to have the other person sign it online, you can just sign it yourself online. If you want to do that, you can upload the document, sign it, email it to the other party, and then delete it right away from the server. That way there is no security risk.

      But, if you are a big enough company that security is an issue, a service like echosign.com is probably more suited for you. See the echosign security faq at http://www.echosign.com/public/static/seriouslySecure.jsp .

  3. MicroSourcing

    Document privacy isn’t the only concern, it’s also the user’s signature that needs to be secured from other individuals who might commit identity theft. This is especially an issue for online companies that keep copies of everything.

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