The BoldSign mobile app is now available. Visitthis link for more details and give it a try!

The BoldSign mobile app is now available. Visitthis link for more details and give it a try!

Request Demo
BoldSign Logo Small

Features

Explore the BoldSign features that make eSigning easier.

The adoption of electronic signatures in Belgium has significantly improved the efficiency of document verification processes. These digital methods enable quick and eco-friendly transactions, reducing paper use and accelerating business agreements. Understanding crucial elements is necessary when incorporating electronic signatures within Belgian practices.

One should opt for an electronic signature service that complies with Belgian legislation (including the Civil Code and the Code of Economic Law) as well as E.U. regulations on electronic signatures (namely the Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation) for transactions within the E.U. This ensures that electronic signatures are given the same legal status as handwritten signatures. Note that certain documents may still require a physical signature, and legal nuances may differ, so legal advice is recommended.

Security is a top priority. electronic signature providers must deliver strong security features like encryption, authentication, and audit trails to deter unauthorized access and validate the authenticity of documents. Providers like BoldSign offer these security features to satisfy compliance and safety requirements.

In summary, electronic signatures are highly beneficial and generally accepted. However, compliance with legal standards, guaranteeing security, and choosing an accessible service is crucial for their effective use in Belgium.

In Belgian regulations, an electronic signature is any electronic data attached to and logically associated with another electronic data and is used by the signatory to sign. In Belgium, such signatures are legally binding on most documents if they can be distinctly associated with the signer and if there is evidence to confirm their authenticity, ensuring the integrity of the document has not been compromised. Moreover, the signatory’s intention to sign must be evident, signifying a purposeful agreement to the terms specified in the document. When these conditions are satisfied, electronic signatures carry the same legal weight as traditional handwritten signatures.

Electronic signatures are considered just as valid as traditional wet-ink signatures; however, their use is subject to specific regulations spelt out in:

  • Civil Code
  • Code of Economic Law
  • Regulation (E.U.) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament

The regulation categorizes the signatures into three categories (Art. 8.1 of the civil code as read with article 3 of the E.U. Regulation No 910/2014):

  • Standard Electronic Signature
  • Advanced Electronic Signatures
  • Qualified Electronic Signatures

Standard electronic signature means data in electronic form attached to or logically associated with another data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign.

This is explained as an electronic signature meeting the requirements set out in Article 261. It decrees that Advanced Electronic Signature must be:

  • Uniquely linked to the signers.
  • Capable of identifying the users.
  • Developed using means that the signatory can maintain his control.
  • Linked to the data it relates to so that any subsequent change to the data is detectable.

This is an advanced electronic signature that is generated using a certified device for creating electronic signatures and relies on an accredited certificate specific to electronic signatures.

Article 322 of the E.U. regulation sets out a validation set of standards to be met by the one for a qualified electronic signature. These are:

  • Statutory compliant certificate at the time of signing.
  • A qualified trust service provider issued a certificate that was valid when signing.
  • Signature validation data corresponds to the data provided to the relying party.
  • The unique set of data representing the signatory in the certificate was correctly provided to the relying party.
  • The use of any pseudonym is clearly indicated to the relying party if a pseudonym was used at the time of signing.
  • The electronic signature is of a qualified electronic signature creation device.
  • The integrity of the signed data hasn't been tampered with.
  • Meets validity standards of an advanced electronic signature.

A secure electronic signature must be uniquely connected to the person using it. The signature must be uniquely made with methods only the signer can access, like a private key and confidential info, to verify their identity.

The person using the secure electronic signature must have sole control over the means of creating the signature. Typically, this requires managing a key pair or two-factor authentication, with the signer exclusively holding the private key to prevent signature forgery.

The process used to create the signature must be capable of identifying the person signing. This may include using a biometric signature, a Personal Identification Number (PIN), an email address or even a company registration number.

It is essential to preserve the authenticity of the signed document. Modifications made to the document post-signature should be identifiable. This is commonly accomplished through an audit trail. Audit trails record the signer’s I.P. address, timestamps of key signing events, and location, providing proof of identity, timing, and signature place.

Type of signature Statute and sections of relevant laws Unique features Legal validity
Simple Electronic Signature Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation.
(Articles 3, 26, & 32)

Belgian Civil Code
(Book 8 Article 8.1)

Code of Economic Law
(Art. XIII.16)
  • No unique feature other than being data in electronic form.
  • Validity is dependent on evidentiary weight across jurisdictions.
Advances Electronic Signature
  • Uniquely linked to the signers.
  • Capable of identifying the users.
  • Developed using means that the signatory can maintain his control.
  • Linked to the data it relates to so that any subsequent change to the data is detectable.
Qualified Electronic Signature
  • Certificate compliant with laws provided at signing.
  • The trust service provider issued a valid certificate at signing.
  • Signature validation matches the data given to the recipient.
  • The signatory's unique data is accurately given to the recipient.
  • Any pseudonym used is disclosed to the recipient.
  • Signature made with a qualified electronic signature device.
  • Signed data integrity maintained.
  • Meets all features of Advanced electronic signature.
  • Deemed valid in jurisdictions across the E.U.

The use of electronic signatures for completing document transactions lacks absolute legal recognition. As a result, electronic signatures are appropriate for certain types of transactions and applications while unsuitable for others. An analysis and a concise table detailing the transactions are provided below.

Electronic signatures can be employed to affix signatures and provide countersignatures on a diverse array of documents, such as:

  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (assuming they are contracts, not formal deeds)
  • Software License Agreements
  • Public Petitions3
  • Insurance Industry
  • Educational Field, etc.

The Belgian Code of Economic Law, under Article XIII.16, specifies restrictions on the use of Electronic Signatures, stating that they are not permissible for the following applications:

  • Contracts which create or transfer rights to real estate, with the exception of rental rights.
  • Contracts for which the law requires the intervention of the courts, public authorities or professions exercising public authority.
  • Security and guarantee contracts provided by persons acting for purposes which do not fall within the scope of their professional or commercial activity.
  • Contracts relating to family law or inheritance law.
Permissible transactions Exempted transactions
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (assuming they are contracts, not formal deeds)
  • Software License Agreements
  • Public Petitions
  • Insurance Industry
  • Educational Field, etc.
  • Transactions requiring court intervention or public authority.
  • Contracts under family law.
  • Transactions on creation & transfer of rights in real estate (with exemption of rental rights).
  • Security and guarantee contracts provided by persons acting for purposes which do not fall within the scope of their professional or commercial activity.

To achieve the validity of an electronic signature, it is recommended to adhere to the following best practices while also complying with all relevant legal standards:

  • Verify the identity of the person signing and, in cases where a business entity is involved, ensure that the person signing is authorized to legally commit the company with their signature.
  • Obtain explicit consent from the person signing, which can be included in the Agreement itself or provided through a separate confirmation form, to confirm their intent to sign the document electronically using the chosen method.
  • Secure the document against any alterations after the electronic signature has been affixed.
  • Maintain a detailed record of the signing process, documenting each action performed by the person executing the signature.

The following elements of compliance available within BoldSign can be used to comply with Belgian electronic signature laws:

  • Secure and unique signing link: A secure and unique link to sign a document is sent directly to the signer's email address. This helps to ensure that the document is only accessed by the intended signer and that it cannot be tampered with.
  • Password protection: Senders can specify a password that needs to be entered before viewing and signing a document. This adds a layer of security to the signing process.
  • Audit trail: The I.P. address of the signer, along with timestamps for all significant events in the signing process, are recorded in an audit trail. This provides a record of who signed the document when they signed it, and from where they signed it.
  • Digital signature: The final signed document is digitally signed with an AATL-compliant certificate. This ensures that the document cannot be tampered with without invalidating the signature.
  • Consent: Signers are asked to confirm their intent to sign electronically and are also informed that they have the option to opt out. This helps to ensure that the signer is aware of the implications of signing electronically and that they have given their consent to do so.
  • Custom terms: There is an option to get your signers to agree to a custom set of terms. This can be useful for additional security or ensuring that the signer understands the terms of the document.

Disclaimer: Information on this page is intended to help businesses understand the legal framework of electronic signatures for this particular country.

However, Syncfusion, its officers, directors, stockholders, affiliates, attorneys, accountants, employees or agents cannot provide legal advice. You should consult your own personal attorney regarding your specific legal questions. Laws and regulations change frequently, and this information may not be current or accurate. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Syncfusion provides this material on an “as-is” basis. Syncfusion disclaims and makes no representation or warranty of any kind with respect to this material, express, implied or statutory, including representations, guarantees or warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or accuracy.

Syncfusion makes no warranties of any kind, including but not limited to respect to the information or the product, whether express, implied, statutory or otherwise. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Syncfusion disclaims all conditions, representations and warranties, whether express, implied or statutory, with respect to this information without limitation any implied warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, accuracy or currentness of this information.

Syncfusion nor their officers, directors, stockholders, employees, affiliates, attorneys, accountants or agents shall be entitled to indemnification, express or implied, contractual or statutory, equitable or otherwise, under this Agreement.