Are Electronically Signed Commercial Contracts Enforceable in Florida

May 8, 2019


As businesses increasingly adapt to the digital age, electronic signatures have become a common practice for signing contracts. However, many businesses, especially those in the commercial sector, are often unsure about the enforceability of electronically signed contracts in Florida. In this article, Baytowne Reporting, a leading court reporting service in Florida, will shed light on the legal aspects surrounding electronically signed commercial contracts in the state. We will explore the relevant laws, regulations, and case precedents to help you make informed decisions regarding the validity of such contracts.

Understanding Electronic Signatures

Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures, are digital representations of a person's signature that can be used to sign contracts and other legal documents. These signatures enable parties to execute contracts remotely without the need for physical presence, paper documentation, or traditional ink signatures. When it comes to commercial contracts, electronic signatures offer convenience, speed, and efficiency in conducting business transactions.

The Legal Framework in Florida

Florida has adopted the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act), which provide a comprehensive legal framework for electronic signatures and the enforceability of electronically signed contracts.

Under UETA and the ESIGN Act, electronically signed contracts are generally given the same legal status and enforceability as traditional paper contracts. Florida recognizes the legal validity of electronic agreements and grants electronic signatures the same legal standing as handwritten signatures. However, there are certain requirements and conditions to ensure the enforceability of these contracts.

Requirements for Enforceability

For an electronically signed commercial contract to be enforceable in Florida, the following requirements must typically be met:

1. Consent

All parties involved must provide their consent to conduct business electronically and agree to the use of electronic signatures. This consent can be obtained through explicit acceptance in writing or by using an electronic signature platform that requires the parties to explicitly acknowledge their consent.

2. Clear Intent to Sign

The parties must demonstrate a clear intent to sign the contract electronically. This can be established by explicitly stating their agreement to use electronic signatures or by engaging in conduct that evidences their intent to sign, such as clicking an "I agree" button on a website or sending an email with a clear statement of acceptance.

3. Record Retention

It is essential to retain a complete and accurate record of the electronically signed contract. This includes both the signed agreement and any associated electronic records or communications that are part of the contractual process. Storing these records securely is vital to ensure their integrity and availability for future reference.

4. Accessibility and Readability

The electronically signed contract must be easily accessible and readable by all parties involved. It is essential to use file formats that are widely accepted, such as PDF, to ensure compatibility and prevent issues with accessing or viewing the document. Additionally, parties should ensure that they have the necessary software or technology to authenticate and verify the electronic signatures.

5. Authentication and Security Measures

To enhance the enforceability of electronically signed contracts, it is advisable to implement authentication and security measures. This can include using digital certificates, encryption technology, or secure platforms that provide robust authentication and tamper-evident features. These measures help establish the identity of the signatories and protect the integrity of the contract.

Legal Precedents

Florida courts have consistently recognized the enforceability of electronically signed commercial contracts, provided that the above-mentioned requirements are met. In a notable case in 2012, the Florida District Court of Appeal confirmed the enforceability of an electronically signed commercial lease agreement, setting a precedent for future cases. This case reinforces the validity of electronically signed contracts in Florida and emphasizes the importance of meeting the necessary requirements for enforceability.


With the advancements in digital technology, electronically signed commercial contracts have gained legal recognition and enforceability in Florida. Baytowne Reporting emphasizes the significance of adhering to the legal requirements outlined above to ensure the validity and enforceability of such contracts. As a trusted court reporting service in Florida, we provide expert guidance and assistance in navigating the legal landscape surrounding electronically signed commercial contracts. Contact Baytowne Reporting today to learn more about our comprehensive court reporting services tailored to the needs of the legal industry.

Shehla Yamani
Great information! I feel much more confident about using electronic signatures in my business deals now.
Nov 8, 2023
John Poetker
Very informative 👍🏼
Oct 11, 2023