France is a thriving in traditional business operation and the gig economy. It stands as one of the most developed countries in the world. Thus, the use of electronic signature in France has become essential.

Are electronic signatures legal in France?

Yes! As outlined by Internet Business Law Services, France has supported e-signing since 1999. The European Directive was established in December of that year. France then implemented the Directive through the

  • Electronic Signature Act of March 13, 2000
  • Decree of March 30, 2001
  • Decree of April 18, 2002

These acts and decrees indicate that electronic signatures are essentially the same as traditional ones. They also offer specifics about terms, when an e-signature can be considered reliable and service provider accreditation.Other regulations, such as Act No. 2014-344 of March 17, 2014, on Consumers Rights, relate closely to ecommerce and e-signing. Electronic contracts also have to follow the rules of the Civil Code. Article 1316 of the Civil Code highlights the credibility of e-signing.Even though France supports electronic signature, not everything can be e-signed. This is common in other countries, as well. It applies mainly to court documents, such as wills.

How does France treat e-signing within the European Union?

By July 2016, the European Union initiated the Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation (eIDAS). This agreement basically standardizes e-signature regulations across the European Union. So, for example, Germany’s regulations match France’s, which matches the United Kingdom and so on. This makes it much easier to do electronic business across European borders. Article 25 of eIDAS echoes the above regulations, emphasizing legal admissibility.

What if I am outside of France or the European Union?

You still can use an electronic signature through companies like PDF.co. Simply make sure you’ve met the regulations for both your country and France.