COURT-ADMISSIBLE

Yes

GENERAL BUSINESS USE

Yes

E-SIGNATURE LEGAL MODEL

Tiered

eSignature Legality Summary

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.

Use Cases for Standard Electronic Signature (SES)

  • * HR documents, employment contracts, employee benefit documents and other onboarding documents for employees
  • * Commercial agreements including NDAs, procurement documents, sale agreements
  • * Consumer agreements, including documents for new retail account opening
  • lease agreements, purchase and sales contracts, and other documentations for real estate

Use Cases for Other Types of Electronic Signature (Digital Signatures, AES, QES)

  • * AES or QES – many documents need the signature of an authorized signatory, such as minutes of the board meetings and shareholders meeting, * MoA and share certificates (Finnish Companies Act – Osakeyhtiölaki 624/2006)
  • * QES – prenuptial agreement (Marriage Act, Avioliittolaki 234/1929)
  • * QES – mortgage application (Finnish Code of Real Estate – Maakaari 540/1995)

Use Cases That Are Not Typically Appropriate for Electronic Signatures

  • * Notarization of property transfer contracts and deeds (except leases) (Finnish Code of Real Estate – Maakaari 540/1995)
  • * Witnesses testament (Code of Inheritance, Perintökaari 40/1965)

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.

COURT-ADMISSIBLE

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.

GENERAL BUSINESS USE

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.

E-SIGNATURE LEGAL MODEL

‘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/

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