Electronic contracts are becoming standard for many businesses. The speed and low cost of producing such contracts makes them inviting. However, there are pitfalls. It is in your best interests to consult with an Orange County business lawyer to make sure that the contracts you produce in cyberspace are enforceable.
Contracts in the Information Age
It is difficult to imagine now that many businesses used to seal deals with a handshake. Hollywood seems to be the only place where such a practice still exists; nowadays even paper contracts are often eschewed in favor of those produced on computer. There are definite advantages to this, most notably very low transaction costs.
However, often businesses have found that electronics contracts are very difficult to enforce. If, for instance, your business maintains a website which contains an order form, an individual who clicks “I agree” is presumed to have signed a contract. But how is one to know who actually made this agreement? What if the party that agreed is a minor?
A further complication occurs when the contract is made with someone out-of-state. It may be quite difficult to collect on a breached contract, even if it can be established that the individual committed to the agreement. In such cases an Orange County business lawyer may be able to assist, but litigation may prove too costly.
Laws governing electronics contracts have only more recently been enacted to deal with such issues as electronic signatures. Among these are:
The Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN)
- The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)
- The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)
For More Information
For details on how recent legislation may affect your business contracts, call anOrangeCountybusiness lawyer at Daily Aljian, LLP for a consultation at 949-861-2524.