Overview of electronic signature law and its legality in Luxembourg
Luxembourg began recognizing electronic signatures as legally valid in 2000 after it passed The Law on E-commerce. Electronic signatures are valid on business contracts and are considered legally admissible in court.
Luxembourg is also a member of the European Union, so it is bound by eIDAS regulations as well. These regulations were established in 2016 and standardized eSignatures laws across all EU member states.
Are electronic signatures legal in Luxembourg?
Yes, according to Luxembourg law, a handwritten signature is not required for a contract to be considered legally valid. If two parties reach a written or electronic agreement, that contract is considered legally binding.
Understanding Luxembourg’s legal model
Civil law system
Like many countries in Europe, Luxembourg operates under a civil law system. Civil law systems are based on Roman law and are based on a codified set of principles. Roughly 65% of the world operates under a civil law system.
However, Luxembourg’s legal model does contain elements of common law systems as well. Its legal model is similar to the following countries:
The different types of eSignatures
Thanks to eIDAS regulations, a contract cannot be considered invalid simply for being electronic. However, some contracts may require additional proof to be admitted in court.
In particular, the regulations outline three different types of electronic signatures. Here is an overview of each:
- Standard electronic signature (SES): An SES is considered the most basic type of eSignature, and isn’t acceptable for certain types of documents. An SES is usually typed or scanned, and there’s no obvious proof of who signed the document.
- Advanced electronic signature (AES): An AES has some properties that are unique to the signer, so it’s considered stronger than an SES.
- Qualified electronic signature (QES): According to eIDAS regulations, a QES is considered a distinct type of electronic signature. Legally, it’s considered equal to a handwritten signature. If a QES is recognized in one member state, it must be recognized across all member states.
When is an SES appropriate?
According to eIDAS regulations, a signature cannot be deemed invalid simply for failing to meet the standards of a QES. There are many instances when an SES is entirely appropriate.
In particular, an SES can be used for the following types of contracts:
- Sales terms
- Software licensing agreements
- Trademark agreements
- Purchase orders
- Distribution agreements
When is a handwritten signature required?
According to Luxembourg law, there are certain types of documents and contracts where a handwritten signature is required. This usually applies to documents that need to be notarized or aren’t compatible with electronic signature methods.
Here are a few situations where you would need to use a handwritten signature:
- Documents that must be notarized
- Employment contracts
- Mortgage documents
- Marriage contracts
- Family wills
Can I use PandaDoc software in Luxembourg?
Yes, PandaDoc software complies with the electronic signature laws in Luxembourg. With our electronic signature software, you can create legally binding signatures within minutes. That way, when you can create proposals and business contracts, you’ll know they are secure and legally binding.