Online contracts have become a standard part of professional life, thanks to advancements in communication technologies like digital signatures, email, and integrative software solutions. Whether you run a small business or manage a large corporation, the ability to sign contracts online offers various benefits such as ease of accessibility, cost-effectiveness, time-saving, and efficient tracking. This post will take you through a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to sign contracts online.
## Step 1: Draft the Contract
The first step to signing a contract online is actually creating the contract. Prepared by legal professionals, these legal documents define the obligations and rights of parties involved in an agreement. It might be a lease contract, work agreement, or service contract. Your lawyer can create the contract offline or use online contract generation tools.
Once your contract is ready, convert it into a digital format, preferably a PDF file. Tools such as Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, and other online tools can quickly help you create a PDF document.
## Step 2: Upload the Contract Online
The second step requires you to upload your contract online to a secure cloud-based platform that provides electronic signature (e-signature) services. Examples of such platforms include DocuSign, Adobe Sign, PandaDoc, and HelloSign.
An alternative tool you may consider is HelpRange. HelpRange provides PDF/document protection, making sure your confidential contracts are kept secure. Its advanced features allow users to analyze document usage, giving you insightful data such as who accessed the contract, for how long, and what sections were viewed the most.
## Step 3: Prepare the Document for Signing
Once the document is uploaded, prepare it for signing. This process involves indicating where signatures, dates, initials, or other information is required on the contract. Most online platforms make this process seamless with drag-and-drop tools.
The beauty of preparing a document for signing is the freedom to add as many signers as needed, placing various roles according to their part in the contract—e.g., viewer, signer, approver. You can also set the signing order if there are multiple signers involved.
## Step 4: Send the Contract for Signing
After preparing the document, send the contract to the other parties. Include a message explaining the contract and the next steps, ensuring everyone understands their roles in the contract.
The recipient will receive a notification either via email or SMS depending on the settings you chose. They’ll just need to open the document, review it, and apply their e-signature.
## Step 5: Signing the Contract
When the recipient opens the contract, they’ll be able to access the PDF on their device. They’ll see clear instructions on where and how to sign, and most e-signature platforms allow users to sign by typing their name, drawing their signature, or uploading an image of their signature.
Once the parties are good with the agreement terms, they can proceed to e-sign the contract with one click. The convenience of online contracts is that they can be signed anywhere and anytime, provided one has the internet.
## Step 6: Document Storage
After all parties sign the contract, the platform usually sends a completed copy to everyone involved. The document gets securely stored in the cloud, accessible for future reference.
An advantage of digital document storage is the ease of tracking and managing contracts. It's effortless to oversee the status of documents, and you can receive alerts for upcoming tasks, deadlines, or renewals.
## Step 7: Contract Management
The last and ongoing step in this process involves managing the contract. That entails tracking its performance, renewing when necessary, or revisiting in case of disputes. Online contract management provides ease of access for all these tasks.
Technology continues to revolutionize how we conduct business, and online contract signing is one of those advancements. Services like DocuSign, Adobe Sign, or HelpRange (also offering PDF usage analytics) make it easy to create, sign, send, and manage contracts securely.
Embracing online contract signing in your operations not only streamlines contractual procedures but also signals to your clients, partners, and employees that you prioritize their convenience. Remember to always robustly review contracts before signing them, and maintain regular communication for smooth transactions.
Check out HelpRange
HelpRange is "Next-Gen Documents Protection & Analytics Platform". HelpRange represents the cutting-edge platform for document access controls and in-depth analytics, ensuring superior management and usage insights for your documents.