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Re: legal way to do contact signature online??

Active Member
Jason B Member Since: Sep 11, 2015
1 of 5

I'm wanting to have my freelancer sign a Non Disclosure document.  

 

Is it legal to have them electronically sign it by downloading the document and then just typing their name into it?

 

Or must it be downloading , printed, hand signed, and then sent back to me?

 

thanks for clarification

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
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2 of 5

Jason, it is legal, but bear in mind that any agreement, however legally binding it may be, is worth exactly as much as your ability to legally enforce it.

 

There is also a NDA element in the Upwork user agreement.

 

Bear in mind though that no matter what anyone signs, if they break the NDA there isn't actually that much you can do, especially when they are in a different country.

 

Well, there is a lot you can do, if you have a lot of good money to throw after bad, with very questionable chances of ever collecing any damages.....

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 5

Pretty much any way that both parties agree to sign an NDA can be legal... but my recommendation is:

 

Either just send them a PDF file or Word file or whatnot and have the contractor  print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back to you, or send it to you via snail mail if they can't scan it.

 

Or use a formal electronic document signing service. There are many to choose from, some free on a trial basis and some very inexpensive. It will take you a lot less time to use a formal service than to try to set the infrastructure up yourself or create your own system.

 

But I agree with Petra... there may not be much value to having a contractor sign an NDA, since the same agreements you would be having them sign are probably already part of the Upwork Terms of Use agreements.

 

But if your legal department is telling you that you need a signed NDA, they'll be happier with a physically-signed file or scan of a physically-scanned file or a document processed through an official electronic signing service. They'll prefer those things over just seeing a PDF form you sent to somebody "signed" by somebody typing their name into an editable field.

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Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 5

I have signed many NDAs electronically with my own signature copied into the document. This has always been taken on trust, on both sides.

 

Whether or not an NDA can be legally challenged across borders, IMO, it would  be committing professional suicide to break this sort of confidence.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 5

 


@Nichola L wrote:

 

Whether or not an NDA can be legally challenged across borders, IMO, it would  be committing professional suicide to break this sort of confidence.


 I agree, and  that is (kind of) the point

 

The professionals would never break the trust - even without a signed agreement of any type.

The crooks know fully well that no matter what they signed, chances of anything happening to them if they break an NDA are slim to nil.

 

In the first case an extra NDA isn''t needed

In the second case it will not protect the client

 

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