Overview of electronic signatures and their legality in Liechtenstein

Although Liechtenstein is a member of the United Nations and the European Free Trade Association, it is not a member of the European Union. This means that Liechtenstein is not subject to eIDAS regulations that standardize electronic signature laws across all EU member states. However, the country has implemented some electronic signature statutes.

Are electronic signatures legal in Liechtenstein?

Yes, electronic signatures can be used on general business contracts in Liechtenstein. The country first passed an eSignature law in September 2003.

This law implemented the European Directive 1999/93/EC on a Community framework for Electronic Signatures. This was later supplemented by the regulation on Electronic Signatures of June 2004.

Then in April 2018, Liechtenstein adopted the Consultation Report on the adoption of the eIDAS regulation. This paved the way for citizens and businesses to safely and securely conduct electronic transactions.

An overview of Liechtenstein’s legal model

Liechtenstein is a very small country and is heavily influenced by the legal models of Switzerland and Austria. The country operates under a civil law system where the laws are based on statutes enacted by parliament.

Unlike common law systems, judicial rulings are not considered binding for other judges. But the country does emphasize legal precedents, and legal literature is regularly consulted by attorneys and judges in Liechtenstein.

Liechtenstein’s legal system is based on the District Court, the Superior Court, and the Supreme Court. All three are located in the capital city of Liechtenstein.

What are the technology standards in Liechtenstein?

Since Liechtenstein implemented Directive 1999/93/EC, this means that qualified electronic signatures (QES) are recognized as being equivalent to handwritten signatures.

A QES is an electronic signature that comes with a qualified certificate. A QES is also created using a secure signature creation device, so it’s considered the most secure type of electronic signature.

In comparison, a standard electronic signature (SES) is an electronic signature where there is no obvious proof of who signed the document. These types of signatures are often scanned or typed.

An SES won’t automatically be denied admissibility in court, but additional evidence may be required because it’s easier to forge an electronic signature than it is a handwritten signature.

Can I use PandaDoc software in Liechtenstein?

Yes, PandaDoc eSignature software meets the legal requirements in Liechtenstein. You can use our electronic signature software to create legally binding documents and contracts across all your devices.

Our software gives you the option to type, draw, or upload your signature. Once the contract has been signed, you can download it as a secure PDF. Every time you sign a contract you’ll receive an electronic signing certificate for added security.