What is eSignature?
eSignature is a set of free standards, tools and services that help public administrations and businesses accelerate the creation and verification of electronic signatures that are legally valid in all European Member States.
Boost your digital transactions
By removing the need for paper to obtain a signature or seal, the solution facilitates the digitalisation of business processes, eliminating the time, costs and risks of dealing with paper formats.
Cross-border legal assurance
eSignature is compliant with the eIDAS Regulation, meaning that it ensures the legal recognition and cross-border interoperability of the electronic signatures and seals produced by solutions based on this building block.
Guaranteed documents’ integrity
With eSignature, you reduce risk of document duplication or alteration. The signer’s identity is bound to each specific document, ensuring that signatures and seals are verified, authentic and legitimate for that document alone.
Improved user experience
Shorter approval times, thanks to faster document signing processes, which leads to higher satisfaction rates.
Who can benefit from eSignature
Citizens of EU countries, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein
Discover how we are making the signing of digital documents possible for everyone.
Governments and Businesses
Public and Private entities
Let us show you how to adopt electronic signatures and seals, ensuring EU-wide validity.
Service and solution providers
We can help you develop eSigning solutions that are compliant with the eIDAS Regulation.
How to start using the eSignature
Gather your business needs and requirements to decide if you want to use an external provider, our Digital signature Services Digital signature Services
Obtain a suited and interoperable eSignature structure that builds on our open source library. Check out the documentation and support services available to help you.
After testing the interoperability and conformance of your solution, you will be ready to start offering and promoting it!
Digital Signature Services (DSS)
Download the latest version of the Digital Signature Services open-source library for electronic signature creation and validation.
ETSI Signature Conformance Checker
A free online tool that performs numerous checks to verify the conformance of electronic signatures based on ETSI standards.
A web application for browsing, editing and monitoring trusted lists used by the Trusted List Operators of each Member State. It allows searching for qualified Trust Service Providers in Europe.
An electronic signature is a data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign, where the signatory is a natural person.
Like its handwritten counterpart in the offline world, an electronic signature can be used, for instance, to electronically indicate that the signatory has written the document, agreed with the content of the document, or that the signatory was present as a witness.
In case you want to seal a document as a legal person (e.g. as a business or organisation), you might be instead interested in an electronic seal..
An electronic seal is data in electronic form, which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form to ensure the latter’s origin and integrity, where the creator of a seal is a legal person (unlike the electronic signature that is issued by a natural person).
In this purpose, electronic seals might serve as evidence that an electronic document was issued by a legal person, ensuring certainty of the document’s origin and integrity. Nevertheless, across the European Union, when a transaction requires a qualified electronic seal from a legal person, a qualified electronic signature from the authorised representative of the legal person is equally acceptable.
An ‘electronic signature’ is a legal concept that is defined in eIDAS by the following:
“‘electronic signature’ means data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign;” (eIDAS Article 3.10)
A digital signature, on the other hand, refers to a mathematical and cryptographic concept that is widely used to provide concrete and practical instances of electronic signature. The definition given by ETSI TR 119 100 is that of data appended to, or a cryptographic transformation of a data unit that allows a recipient of the data unit to prove the source and integrity of the data unit and protect against forgery e.g. by the recipient.
These two concepts should be distinguished, as all electronic signatures are not necessarily digital signatures.
The eIDAS Regulation defines three levels of electronic signature: 'simple' electronic signature, advanced electronic signature and qualified electronic signature. The requirements of each level are built on the requirements of the level below it, such that a qualified electronic signature meets the most requirements and a 'simple' electronic signature the least.