Legal

Agreements signed with a digital signature are just as valid as those on paper and have greater provable security
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Legal validity

When your client signs a document digitally with Visma Addo it is legally valid in exactly the same manner as if they had signed on a piece of paper. The provable security is even greater in the case of Visma Addo than with paper.

Download Bird & Bird lawyers note on validity (in Danish) or read an outline of the main points below.

Requirement for signature

Dansk ret indeholder som hovedregel ingen formkrav, herunder underskriftskrav, som betingelse for en aftales gyldighed.

Danish law does not as a rule contain formal requirements, including signature requirements, as a condition of an agreement's validity.

Agreements can be entered into even if the agreement is not signed, if the parties' willingness to enter the agreement has been demonstrated in another manner, for example, a verbal approval, a mouse click or implied by the parties' conduct. This general rule can be waived by law or by agreement so that the validity of an agreement is dependent on the parties' signature. There is not however a general legal requirement that entering an agreement requires signature(s) in order to be valid. The general rule applies therefore as the clear starting point of any agreement conclusion under Danish law.

A signature on an agreement functions, however, as proof of the parties' to the agreement's willingness to be bound by the agreement.

Digital signature

Using digital signature from Visma Addo clients can receive and sign documents with NemID, with a fingerprint on a touchscreen or with a mouse.

A client's acceptance of an agreement with NemID, with signature on a touchscreen or with a mouse, is an unquestionably valid acceptance which is binding on the contracting party.

If legislation is introduced that requires signature in some areas, EU member states are, according to the E-Commerce Directive (Article 9) obliged to ensure that such legislative demands do not result in contracts being deprived of their legal effect and validity because they have been entered into electronically, for example by digital signature. EU member states may, however, decide that this does not apply to contracts involving, among others, fixed property rights (excepting rental rights).

Proof value of NemID

The NemID solution entails that the user is issued with a digital signature consisting of a private key and a certificate with a public key. The central element in the NemID solution is that only the user has control over the private key, which is protected by a personal access code ("something you know") and a code from a key card with single use codes ("something you have").

An agreement document signed with the user's private key card contains therefore secure proof that it was the user of that key card who entered the agreement.

As with agreements entered into on paper, there may arise a problem of proof if the digital documents are damaged or deleted.

Proof value of digital signature

In the case of signatures made directly on to a touchscreen or with a mouse, these are equivalent to a signature on paper. The proof value of an agreement signed in this way is therefore fundamentally the same as an agreement signed on paper.

Visma Addo, though, keeps a log recording every transaction made in the solution, so that at any time it can be seen which email address a document is sent to and when a document has been signed and returned. This gives a greater degree of provable security than a physical signature where such data does not exist.

Provable security is further increased as the parties to the agreement receive an email immediately after the signing that confirms the agreement that has just been entered into (the agreement is attached to the email). If the receiver does not respond to this email, it will subsequently be very difficult for this party to convince a court that the agreement was not entered into.

Visma Consulting A/S
Nørgaardsvej 32
DK-2800 Lyngby
consulting.dk@visma.com
Business Reg. No. 29973334

Lars Nygaard
Business Manager
lars.nygaard@visma.com
+45 21 28 10 77

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