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Explore the BoldSign features that make eSigning easier.

Qatar

Digital signatures have revolutionized the authentication of documents, making the process of signing agreements more efficient both within Qatar and globally. These technological solutions enable swift and eco-friendly document execution, decreasing paper use and expediting commercial transactions. Nevertheless, understanding the critical elements involved in adopting electronic signatures in Qatar is essential.

To be legally recognized on par with traditional handwritten signatures, individuals must select an electronic signature service that adheres to Qatar law, specifically Decree Law No 16 of 2010. Certain documents might still require a physical signature, and legal stipulations can differ across regions.

Electronic signature security is critical. Choose providers with strong security measures like encryption, user verification, and detailed audit trails to protect access and ensure document integrity. Services like BoldSign offer these security features, aiding users in achieving compliance and upholding security standards.

In conclusion, while electronic signatures offer considerable benefits and are generally accepted, it’s crucial to comply with legal requirements, prioritize security, and choose a user-friendly service for practical use in Qatar.

In Qatar, an electronic signature is electronic data linked or associated with other electronic data used for identity verification. These signatures are valid for most documents if there’s a clear connection to the signer and evidence of authenticity, protecting against tampering. The signing process must demonstrate intentional Agreement to the document’s terms. If these standards are met, electronic signatures hold the same legal weight as handwritten ones, with some exceptions.

There are several types of electronic signatures (also known as eSignatures) that serve the purpose of expressing consent or confirmation on electronic documents and transactions. The following are some prevalent types of eSignatures you’ve listed:

  • Authorizing actions through application login.
  • Signing with a stylus or finger on a digital tablet.
  • Entering a name into an email as a signatory.
  • Confirming agreement on a web page by clicking after verifying identity prompt.
  • Appending a digitized image of a handwritten signature.
  • Voice command.

Generally, Electronic signatures are deemed to have the same evidential weight as the signatures referred to in this law if they comply with the provisions prescribed in the regulations.

eSignature operations in Qatar are regulated by Decree-Law No 16 of 2010, Promulgating the Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law. The decree establishes a universal framework for electronic signatures without any specific classification.

Electronic signature (under Article 1 of the Decree) refers to a distinctive set of characters, digits, symbols, or marks applied to an electronic document. This unique identifier is used to authenticate the signer’s identity and set it apart from others, signifying the signer’s consent to the content within the electronic document.

In giving the specific directives (under Article 28) as to the standards that an eSignature is to meet, the act provides that for such signature to be deemed reliable:

  • The signature creation information is identified with the signatory and no other person.
  • The signature creation information was, at the time of signing, under the control of the signatory and of no other person.
  • Any alteration to the electronic signature made after the time of signing is detectable.
  • Any alteration made to such information after the time of signing is detectable.

A secure electronic signature must be uniquely connected to the person using it. The signature must be uniquely made with methods that only the signer has access to, 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 unauthorized signature forgery.

The process used to create the signature must be capable of identifying the person signing. This may include the use of 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 IP address, timestamps of key signing events, and location, providing proof of identity, timing, and signature place. This will also help to establish any alterations made to the signature.

Summary

Under the Decree-Law No 16 of 2010 on Promulgating the Electronic Transactions and Commerce Law

Type of signature Reliabilty standards Unique features in its operation Foreign Signatures Validity
Electronic signature
  • Uniquely linked to the person,
  • The use and incorporation remain in their sole control,
  • Able to identify the person using the technological process and
  • It is easy to track down any alterations made after signing
  • Consent may be inferred.
  • Consent must be expressed in dealings with government entities.
  • Accepts cross-border eSignatures meeting the reliability standards
Accepts all signatures bearing the reliability standards

The legal recognition of transactions involving electronic signatures is only consistent across some types of document completion. As a result, electronic signatures are appropriate for certain kinds of transactions and uses while unsuitable for others. An analysis of this issue follows, along with a concise table outlining the transactions.

Documents that can be signed

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)
  • Public petitions
  • Internal correspondences
  • Insurance Industry
  • Educational Field
  • Offer letters.

Exempted transactions.

In limiting the applicability of Electronic Signatures, the Decree-Law No. 16 of 2010 Stipulates under Article 3 that eSignatures cannot be used in

  • Instruments and documents relating to family matters and personal status.
  • Instruments and documents about real-estate incorporeal dispositions.
  • Instruments and documents that are required by law to be authenticated.
  • Negotiable commercial instruments by the provisions of the Trade Regulation Law.

Summary Scope of limitations

Permissible transactions Exempted transactions.
  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements (assuming they are contracts, not formal deeds)
  • Public petitions
  • Internal correspondences
  • Insurance Industry
  • Educational Field
  • Offer letters
  • Family law and personal status matters.
  • Instruments and documents related to real-estate incorporeal dispositions.
  • Notarizations and administration of oaths.
  • Negotiable instruments.
  • Under Article 33 of the Decree Law No 16 of 2010, an electronic signature generated or utilized beyond the borders of Qatar will possess equivalent legal standing within Qatar, provided that the electronic signature demonstrates a comparable degree of trustworthiness. Set out for eSignatures under the regulations.
  • Under Article 2 of the decree, nobody is compelled to use electronic signatures in transactions. It is, however, required that consent must be obtained. Consent may be inferred by conduct with an exemption of government entity which has to give expressed/explicit consent.

To ensure the validity of an eSignature, it is advised to follow these best practices while also fulfilling all applicable legal requirements::

  • Ascertain the identity of the signatory and, when it involves corporate transactions, verify that the person has the authority to act on behalf of the corporation in signing the document.
  • Secure explicit approval from the signatory, which can be documented in the contract or a separate agreement, to confirm their consent to use the specified electronic signature for the document.
  • Protect the document from any changes after the electronic signature has been affixed.
  • Protect the document from any changes after the electronic signature has been affixed.

The following elements of compliance available within BoldSign can be used to comply with Qatar eSignature 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 IP 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 adding 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 concerning 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 with 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.