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Paperless Contracts

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by @GCarlD, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hi guys,

    I think it is about time I moved on from the good old fashioned way of sending out paper contracts and find alternative ways of getting clients to sign agreements and save the planet... it is 2016 afterall!

    It would save a lot of time and effort for obvious reasons, a simple one being, some clients do not own a scanner.

    Can anyone recommend alternative methods in getting contracts signed in our digital age? Without the need of printing, paper, ink, scanning, etc.

  2. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I have it in the email when sending proofs

    "If this is ok, can you send me an email stating it is approved."

    Then the email signature always reads that the responsibility always lies with them and any errors or omissions are solely their responsibility and any errors after printing lies solely with you blah blah blah.

    If you want solid sign off seek a Solicitor to draw up binding words that can't be minced.

    We don't send proof sheets. We just ask that people sign off via email. Then we save the email to the job folder.
  3. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    Hhmmm I'm not sure if I'd want to go that route. So you don't actually get their signature at all? Just their approval via e-mail?

    I don't start any work until I receive my contract back, signed by the client and of course the 50% deposit.

    I think if there is a more online / digital way of doing this (which i'm sure there is), I guess the client would need to have a scanned image of their signature to begin with. Or a stylus. Both unlikely.
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    You can do digital signatures via adobe iirc, it's not free though last time I checked.

    Can't say I go that route personally because an email accepting the quote and saying to go ahead with the project is deemed a contract last time I checked, although I don't start until I've received the first payment. Obviously there's some legal wording etc (can't remember it) being used of course but it basically boils down to if you say yes via email then it will be deemed a contract between you the client and 'your (business) name' and will fall under the standard t&c's available at web address or on request. Work will only begin after the initial payment/deposit (I don't like that term personally) has been received.

    Personally I prefer email confirmations over written/verbal purely because it's harder to fake something stored on an email server (IMAP) especially if you can get at the header data etc.

    Having said that in some cases a verbal agreement is enough to be deemed a contract.
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    @Levi Ah I see where you are coming from. In that case I think I'll probably stick to my current contract method. I think getting a physical signature, as well as an e-mail 'Go Ahead' is the best way to go about things. I would of thought a physically signed contract would be the safest method over just an e-mail go ahead, irrespective of the legal wording when talking about faking something; as surely they could argue that they did not send that go ahead email, while with an actual inked signature on a contract, it would be much harder to prove to not being their personal signature. But I'm going off on a tangent here.
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    It is but that's where the first payment comes in, you can then counter that argument with well they sent me the first payment :) Plus it doesn't hurt to have stuff in the t&c's to say it's the responsibility of the client to ensure all communications are accurate and by them or words to that effect (in other words don't let others use your email :))
  7. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    We send a quote first. Agree the price on estimated hours etc.

    Then we get 50% upfront.

    Once artwork is signed off we get full payment. Once invoice a PO is sorted they get the job.

    But we do all transaction by email and invoice.

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