MainPublications of our law firmComments on legislationUse of facsimile signature in financial and commercial activities. Part 1

Use of facsimile signature in financial and commercial activities. Part 1

  • Author: Volodymyr Gurlov
  • Practice areas: Contract law
  • Date of publication: 22/10/14

Using of facsimile has become a way of operational control in a financial and economic activity a long time ago. Certainly, there are a lot of situations when you need signature of a person bit he or she is not here. For example, you have to sign an order on urgent order about sending an employee on a business trip or signing of profitable contract which had been discussed previously. So there are a lot of situations when facsimile can be used. However, there are legal restrictions for using a facsimile. You must take it seriously because illegal use of a facsimile can cause different negative consequences.

In spite of active using of a facsimile in a financial and economic activity, any law doesn’t have definition of it. The Article 207 of the Civil Code of Ukraine says “using of a facsimile signature with a help of mechanical or another analog of a signature during signing an agreement is allowed only in cases when laws or other civil acts permit it or by written agreement of parties which has examples of their signatures”. According to it we can make a conclusion that using of a facsimile must be regulated by special legal acts in different situations. Except it, the Article 207 of the Civil Code of Ukraine has provisions of using a facsimile for signing agreements and it doesn’t mean to use automatically this clause for projects with bank receipts and checks.

You have to define a correct legal act for using a facsimile while you use it in different situations.

The procedure of using a facsimile is the clearest while signing agreements. As it was said previously, there is a permission for this in the Article 207 of the Civil Code of Ukraine. As follows, it is necessarily to have a written agreement of parties with their real signatures. So if partners plan to use a facsimile for drafting an agreement then they must draft previous agreement or sign protocol about intentions to use a facsimile and fix examples of real and facsimile signatures of officials or representatives of parties. That’s how is defined a legal force of a facsimile as a personal signature and that’s why certified documents with it are considered to be signed according to the laws.

You have to consider this clause seriously because not-compliance may cause am illegal using of a facsimile and recognition of an agreement invalid.

The most common case is using a facsimile while working with internal documents of entrepreneurs. At the same time, we are talking about not only using a facsimile by officials but also by other employees who can sign documents. It can be accountants of different departments, providers, storekeeper etc. The legislation doesn’t forbid using a facsimile for working with internal documents. But if you want to avoid problems, for example, on personnel issues or on accounting of goods and material values, you have to issue an order which will regulate matters on the procedure of using a facsimile in company. This order has to disclose matters on: which documents can be signed with a help of a facsimile; list of persons who have a facsimile and use it for signing documents; examples of a personal and facsimile signatures; a procedure of keeping and destroying a facsimile and also other matters.

Keep in mind: using of facsimile is forbidden in employment history.

The procedure of using a facsimile in signing prior and financial documents will be examined in the next article.

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