Rest assured that e-signatures are legally defendable signatures.
A basic measure of eSignature legality in a country is whether courts will admit eSignatures as evidence in court. In most countries in the world, an eSignature cannot be rejected simply because it is electronic, meaning that it should be admissible, subject to proof.
The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress to facilitate the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically. The general intent of the ESIGN Act is spelled out in the very first section(101.a), that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form”. This simple statement provides that electronic signatures and records are just as good as their paper equivalents, and therefore subject to the same legal scrutiny of authenticity that applies to paper documents.
Under Canadian, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract - contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or in a physical paper document. To prove a valid contract, parties sometimes have to present evidence in court. While it may be difficult to prove verbal contracts or electronic contracts formed by email or simple click-through arrangements, leading electronic signature solutions can be used to create electronic records that are admissible in evidence under provincial legislation pertaining to (electronic) evidence and the Canada Evidence Act, to support the existence, authenticity and valid acceptance of a contract.
‘Tiered’ countries recognize Qualified Electronic Signature (QES, or the locally named equivalent) as a distinct type of eSignature. In these countries, a QES has special legal status in the form of presumed authenticity, and may be legally required for a few, specific transaction types. In spite of this, a non-QES eSignature can still be submitted as evidence in court even in Tiered countries, so long as the party presenting it has sufficient evidence to prove that it is valid. Countries imposing QES standards often struggle to promote electronic business transactions, especially across country borders. ‘Open’ countries have no such technology requirements or eSignature types that receive special legal status.