As cybercriminals increasingly mimic executives, suppliers and employees to defraud small entrepreneurs by email, Tony Anscombe of AVG Business explains how not to fall into traps. more” Is an e-mail legally binding? This is a question that worries many people who are often involved in contracts or who imagine they will soon, and the answer to that question is yes, emails will generally be considered legally binding by the courts. Read 3 min The only time you should not use emails as evidence is that they are “unprejudiced.” “Without prejudice” means that they are “from the record.” In this article: 1. Can an e-mail enter into a legally binding contract? 2. Is a promise made in an e-mail legally binding? 3. Are e-mail authorizations legally binding? 4. Do you want emails to be legally binding? One of the repeated misunderstandings is that businesses and consumers tend to consider that if they have not signed a document, there is no possibility of being linked by an email or text message. Consumers and businesses are often quite surprised and, in some cases, worried when they learn that seemingly casual conversations containing a relevant language may be enough to create a legally binding contract or even a guarantee. Contrary to popular belief, a signature is not necessary for a contract to be applicable. The only condition is that both parties accept the agreement reached.
While a signature is the most reliable method of obtaining consent, it is not the only method. As long as the parties write something that could be perceived by a reasonable person as acceptance, the e-mail contract is enforceable. I have always been a strong advocate that the terms of the contract are as clear as possible when it comes to expressing the intent of their parties. It is equally important, if not more important, to ensure that a binding contract is not created accidentally by what one or more of the parties involved think is and intends to be an informal email exchange. In this context, there is no reason why an e-mail contract should not be applicable. A signature is the most common method of obtaining consent, but there are other ways to do so. If all parties write something in the e-mail message that a person could reasonably perceive as an acceptance, the contract is possible by email. There may be some problems, whether e-mails are written or oral contracts or not.
An e-mail cannot be considered an oral contract, because the person responding to the e-mail cannot always be authenticated as a customer of the agreement and the evidence primarily affected, which is used to prove that an oral contract exists, witnesses, are hardly useful in this context.