Q&A: How can a company sign contracts using electronic means of communication?

Q:  How can a company conclude contracts using electronic means of communication according to the letter of law?

A:   With technological progress and widespread digitalization, entrepreneurs have more and more opportunities to modernize their internal structures. The Management Board can conclude contracts with both the company’s clients and its future employees using electronic tools. We would like to present the most effective ones from the company’s point of view:

Qualified electronic signature

In accordance with the Article 78[1] of the Civil Code, a qualified electronic signature has been equalized with a traditional signature. This means that this type of signature can be used for all b2b contracts and even contracts governed by labour law.

What is more, there are no contraindications for a contract to have both qualified and traditional signatures – this applies to employment contracts and b2b.

Exchange of signed scans via e-mail

This is an acceptable form of contracting, often practiced by entrepreneurs. It should be remembered, however, that such a document does not always constitute an effective conclusion of a contract, and in some cases it is the form of the contract defined by law (e.g. a notarial deed) that determines its effectiveness. Nevertheless, the documentary form will be sufficient for most of the concluded agreements.

In case of exchanging the originals of signed scans, the agreement will be considered as written.

Author: Oliwia Kruczyńska, Junior Associate at Kolecka & Partners Law Firm LLP

[1]  It cannot be confused with the ePuap signature, which does not contain a qualified certificate. Therefore, the agreement bearing the ePuap signature has no legal effect.