Registering, amending, merging and dissolving a businesses is an important activity.
So, it’s significant that the Minnesota Secretary of State has not only embraced e-signatures, but gone above and beyond the requirements of other businesses and government entities.
- a typed name at the bottom of the document in the usual space for the signature
- a reproduction of an actual signature
- a mark in lieu of a signature
- a printed signature either hand or machine-printed
- a stamp of a signature
- a digital signature of whatever kind
It’s the last sentence that is significant. They will accept a digital signature of whatever kind. I don’t think that the organization that manages the state’s businesses would risk itself, if it were not 100 percent confident that e-signatures were enforceable.
The core component of any contract is 1. An offer, 2. Acceptance 3. Consideration. So, answering an email with “I accept” is considered a contract.
The reason why people seek legal signature tools is for an additional layer of security – to prevent repudiation. Repudiation is where someone says, “I didn’t sign this” or “the document has changed since I signed it.” What the MN Sec of State’s actions mean is that they are confident that they can prevent repudiation with a stamp, reproduction, or digital signature of any kind. That’s a vote of confidence for electronic signatures.