Overview of electronic signature law and its legality in Brazil

In Brazil, handwritten signatures aren’t required for a contract to be considered legally valid. Once two legally competent individuals have reached a written, verbal, or electronic agreement, that contract is deemed to be valid. Digital signatures have been accepted since 2001, with the passing of the Medida provisoria 2.200-2.

Overview of Brazil’s legal model

Brazil operates under a Civil Law system

Like Germany, Brazil’s legal system is classified as a Civil Law system, but it is actually a mix of both Civil Law and Common Law. When it comes to contracts, property, and criminal law, the country operates under a Civil Law system.

Civil Law systems account for 60% of the world’s legal systems. Many countries in the European Union operate under Civil Law Systems.

It is a comprehensive system based on a codified set of rules. This system originates from Roman law and is more flexible than other legal systems. It is based on legislative action and favors judicial input.

The electronic signature law in Brazil

Brazil has a tiered legal model, which means that nearly all electronic signatures are considered legally valid unless explicitly stated otherwise. According to Brazilian law, eSignatures are considered valid on contracts and electronic documents.

However, for certain electronic transactions, one or both parties may be required to provide additional evidence to prove that a contract is valid. According to the Brazilian Code of Civil Procedure, electronic records can be used to help support the validity of a contract.

When are eSignatures appropriate in Brazil?

There are three different types of acceptable electronic signatures:

  • Standard electronic signatures (SES): An SES is a signature that you draw or type on any device.
  • Advanced electronic signatures (AES): An AES is a signature that has some type of quality that is unique to the signer.
  • Qualified electronic signatures (QES): This is a signature that is created on an appropriate creation device and comes with a qualified signing certificate.

An SES is the most basic type of eSignature and doesn’t come with any verification. A QES is considered the equivalent of a handwritten signature because it comes with a qualified signing certificate.

For most general business contracts, an SES is considered appropriate. However, there are certain types of documents that will require a QES.

When is an SES appropriate?

An SES is appropriate in the following situations:

  • General HR documents;
  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs);
  • Commercial agreements;
  • Sales agreements;
  • Software license agreements.

When is a QES required?

In Brazil, a QES is required on all Foreign Exchange Currency Agreements. And a handwritten signature will be required for any documents that need to be notarized.

Can I use PandaDoc eSignature software in Brazil?

Yes, PandaDoc electronic signature software can be used to conduct electronic transactions in countries like Brazil. With our software, you can sign documents and contracts from any device. We also provide a signing documents for an added layer of security. And it’s easy to keep track of your contracts with our audit trail.