An electronic signature is a digital version of an individual’s personal written signature. Electronic signature software is a tool used by professionals to send, sign and track important documents when obtaining a written signature is inconvenient or impossible. In most countries, electronic signatures are legal, enforceable and binding for contracts and other documents. This eliminates paper contracts, the need to have all parties to a contract in the same room to sign and having to mail or fax documents back and forth for signatures.

Top 10 Best Rated Electronic Signature Software

RightSignature is a company offering an easy-to-use platform for electronic signatures through robust digital documents. The company behind the software is headquartered in both Santa Barbara and San Francisco, California.
With HelloSign, people are able to have legally binding eSignatures that are secure and fast. The companies features include team management tools, templates, custom branding, in-person signing, notifications and an audit trail.
DocuSign is one of the world's most popular online electronic signature solutions, dedicated to keeping companies' processes 100% digital. The company was founded in 2003, and has headquarters in both Seattle and San Francisco.
Founded in 2014, eSign Genie is a company that provides easy-to-use, secure and collaborative electronic signature solutions. It is part of the larger organization, AccountSight, which is based in Cupertino, California.

Shelley Elmblad is a freelance writer with years of experience covering small business, personal finance and tax software and mobile apps. Shelley’s goal is to help others choose the best software to run a small business, track personal finances and save money.

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What features matter most?

Software Type

Electronic signature software companies utilize a variety of software to send and track documents.

  • Cloud-based software: Businesses that use cloud-based software offer signature solutions via the cloud rather than downloadable software.
  • PC-based software: Some electronic signature companies utilize software that users can download and use on their desktop.
  • Combination of software types: Many electronic signature software companies use a combination of technology that can be used via computer or the cloud.

Services

Usually, electronic signature software companies offer products with a range of features in addition to allowing for electronic signatures.

  • Basic signature software: The most basic type of electronic signature software simply allows for people to sign documents electronically.
  • Signature and sharing software: More advanced types of electronic signature software allow users to sign documents and share them with others as well.
  • Signature, sharing and tracking software: Some electronic signature software allows users to track and store documents in addition to having them signed by multiple people.

Security

Signed documents can often be private or confidential, and electronic signature companies use a variety of security methods to keep information safe.

  • Basic security: Companies that use basic security measures offer little or no protection to hackers who want to view or tamper with documents.
  • High-security digital signature software: The most advanced kind of security an electronic signature company can use is called a digital signature, which comes with a tamper-evident seal that shows if it has been altered after signing.
  • Secured log of events: Companies that utilize a log of events with an electronic document can take advantage of technology that automatically logs any activity in a document, which can show if any unauthorized activity has taken place.

Signature type

Electronic signature companies rely on a variety of signature types for document signing.

  • Hand- or stylus-created signature: Some providers have technology that allows users to sign their real signature via a stylus or fingertip on a touchpad or mobile device.
  • Typed signature: Some electronic signature companies allow for a signature that is simply a person's name, typed.
  • Saved signatures: Many electronic signature companies allow a user to sign their name once, then simply access their signature again via a click of the mouse.

Cost

Electronic signature companies are accessible to users via a range of prices - from free software to premium paid software.

  • Free software: Many basic types of electronic signature software are free to users.
  • Pay-per-document software: Some charge customers a fee for each time they use their electronic signature software.
  • Regular fee software: Some companies charge customers a regular fee to access electronic signature software as often as it’s needed.

Storage options

Documents that are sent and signed via electronic signature must be stored somewhere digitally. Brands differ in the amount of security and access they can provide.

  • Company's server storage: Customers are often required to store their documents on the electronic signature software company’s file servers. This can limit access for some who need to retrieve documents after the document is closed with all signatures.
  • Cloud storage: Some companies allow customers to send, sign and store documents via the cloud. This often offers the most versatile sharing options.
  • Customer server storage: There are some companies that allow customers to retrieve and store signed documents on their own servers, often offering the highest level of security possible for customers.

What are different types of electronic signature software?

Document management software

Document management software allows users to not only sign and send documents but also to track and store the documents as they are in the process of being signed.

Basic electronic signature software

Basic electronic signature software offers simple software solutions for signing a document via finger, stylus or mouse click.

Digital signature software

Digital signature software is a type of software that uses a digital fingerprint to link to a user's identity, offering the most sophisticated level of security.

Mobile signature software

Some companies offer electronic signature software that works specifically on mobile devices. This software allows people to collaborate by viewing, remarking on or signing documents on the go.

Who's it for?

Green businesses

Companies that are concerned about the environmental impact of using a lot of paper might take advantage of electronic security software. This software allows them to lessen their effect on the environment by eliminating the need to use paper.

Companies that do business overseas

Electronic signature software is convenient for companies that do business overseas because it allows them to sign documents without traveling, faxing or mailing contracts.

Professionals who often travel

Professionals who travel often may not have access to an office to sign documents in person. Utilizing electronic signature software allows them to sign contracts while they are on-the-go.

Real estate professionals

Real estate professionals work with contracts day in and day out. Electronic signature software can make their day-to-day operations easier and more convenient and can help with closing deals quickly.

Company reviews

  • DocuSign

    Founded in 2003, DocuSign is one of the most popular electronic signature software companies. DocuSign is committed to keeping the document signing process 100 percent digital and has over 150 million users. Docusign pricing runs from $10 to $125 per month per user depending on features required.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas, professionals who often travel and real estate professionals.
  • RightSignature

    RightSignature is a simple and straightforward way to have documents signed electronically. The company is run out of two California locations, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. Pricing is $14 per month for an individual and $39 per month for businesses with up to five senders.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas, professionals who often travel and real estate professionals.

  • Adobe Document Cloud

    Adobe is one of the leading digital media solutions company in the world. Document Cloud is an online PDF document management service that can be used with electronic signatures.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas, professionals who often travel and real estate professionals.

  • AssureSign

    Founded in 1999, AssureSign is a web hosted service offering two electronic signature services: Inscribe for small business and Assuresign for medium to large business. Cost for Inscribe is $1 per document or $20-$30 per seat per month. Enterprise pricing is $250 and up.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas and professionals who often travel.


  • Sertifi

    Based in Chicago, IL, Sertifi is an electronic signature solution provider founded in 2005. The company’s mission is to help businesses close deals more quickly.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas, professionals who often travel and real estate professionals.

  • e-SignLive by Silanis

    eSign Live was created by Silanis, a company dedicated to developing e-signature solutions, and was acquired in 2015 by VASCO, a global leader in authentication, electronic signatures and identity management. The Pro version is $20 per user per month. A sales rep must be contacted to discuss pricing for the Enterprise version. There is a 30-day free trial.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas and real estate professionals.

  • eSign Genie

    eSign Genie is a relatively new electronic signature solution that was founded in 2014 by AccountSight, a company located in Cupertino, California. This software was created to be easier to use than their competitors’ and pricing is from a flat fee $2 per document through a $20 per sender per month subscription. There is a 30-day free trial, and enterprise pricing is available.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas and professionals who often travel.
  • inkdit

    Inkdit provides ultra-light e-signature services with no apps or scanners required. The company is based out of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Inkdit is a low priced option and is free to individuals and businesses with up to four employees. The cost is $20 per month for 5 employees ($4 for each additional user), and enterprise pricing is available. Nonprofits get a 15% discount.

    • Best for Green companies, companies that do business overseas, professionals who often travel and real estate professionals.

  • SignNow

    SignNow by Barracuda is an e-signature service that allows people to sign documents remotely. Their packages are available for businesses of all sizes, starting at $5 per month per user.

    • Best for Green businesses, sales teams and businesses that do business overseas.

  • SkySignature

    SkySignature is an online service founded in 2013 that’s designed to be easy to use, available to anyone and very affordable. Its headquarters are in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The free version allows for 10 stored documents. The Professional version is $1 per month or $10 per year and can store 10,000 documents and offers archival storage.

    • Best for Small business owners, administrative professionals, attorneys, real estate agents and anyone else who regularly requires document signatures.

11 – 11 Best Rated Electronic Signature Software