Electronic signing of documents
Modern times are rapidly contributing to the fact that business partners in international transactions are often forced to conclude transactions at a distance and because of that, signing documents with an electronic signature is becoming an increasingly common way of contracting cooperation.
Although there is an awareness that electronic signing of documents is easier and more efficient, still there is practice of signing documents by hand, sending them by courier service to the other contracting party when necessary and the like, because it is considered safer.
However, the confidentiality of the content of the document is at the highest level just when it is signed by electronic signature. The exact date of receipt, signature and sending is visible in the electronic document that was signed. On the other hand, when signing in person, the presence of contracting parties in the same room is almost always necessary, and when such a thing is not possible, the documentation is sent through courier services where there is always a fear of delays and loss of shipments, which puts the confidentiality of the document in danger.
What is important to note is that not all contracts can be concluded using an electronic signature – Laws in Serbia provide for a special form or mandatory confirmation (solemnization) by a notary public for real estate contracts. Signature verification is required, for example, in the case of contracts for the transfer of shares in a limited liability company, therefore, these contracts cannot be concluded with the electronic signature. Most commercial contracts, contracts in the field of IT sector such as confidentiality contracts, are mostly concluded in this way.
When it comes to obtaining an electronic signature, certification bodies in Serbia have significantly improved this procedure (Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Halcom), so the request for the issuance of an electronic signature as well as the accompanying documentation is submitted online. In Chamber of Commerce, the request can also be submitted through a proxy.
It should be noted that with the development of the practice of using electronic signatures, various applications and platforms have become available that enable the conclusion of contracts in electronic form. Of course, before you decide to use any of these applications, make sure that those are safe to use and that the confidentiality of your data will be preserved.