ESIGNATURE LEGALITY GUIDE
eSignature Legality in Finland
ESIGNATURE LEGALITY GUIDE
As a member state of the European Union (EU), Finland formally recognized the legal validity of eSignatures in year 2009, with the Act on Strong Electronic Identification and Electronic Signatures, which was stablished after the EU directive came into effect in year 1999. Under Finnish law, a written signature is not always needed for a contract to be considered valid – contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or in a physical paper document (Contracts Act Chapter 1 Section 1). eIDAS became applicable in Finland in 2016 and states that “An electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.” After the eIDAS regulation came into effect in Finland and other EU member states, eSignatures are now legally valid in all EU member states.
DISCLAIMER: This information is intended to help you understand the legal framework of electronic signatures. However, eMudhra cannot provide legal advice. The law of electronic signatures is constantly evolving. This guide is not intended as legal advice and should not serve as a substitute for professional legal advice. You should consult an attorney regarding any specific legal concerns.
eMudhra, and all associates including agents, officers, employees, or affiliates, are not liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages.
ABOUT THE GUIDE
The eSignature Legality Guide is the result of legal research into the laws and practices regarding eSignature on a country-by-country basis. Each country-level analysis was conducted by local law firms located in that country, in that country’s local language. This legal analysis was then supplemented with complementary research on eSignature and digital signature technology standards conducted by independent technology experts. Together, this information is provided as a public resource to understand eSignature legality, and clarify some of the common misconceptions about international eSignature legality.
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. Learn more about how DocuSign helps you prove an eSignature validity in court, below.
While there are exceptions for very specific types of transactions, eSignatures, independent of the underlying technology, may be used for the majority of general business transactions in most countries. Issues that may restrict general business use include local technology requirements or other restrictions on special transactions types. Learn more about specific transaction types, below.
‘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. Learn more about eSignature legality at https://www.emsigner.com/