What is an electronic signature? How do you use it?

Digital services are an essential part of modern companies’ actions. They simplify and

quicken contact with the client, partners, and employees. Implementation of eSign in

business is the step towards using, the more common on the market, digital solutions.


An electronic signature is a modern obviousness
The document management system is so extensive nowadays that it is the base for the modern world’s functioning, and the signing of the documents seems evident and intuitive. It is worth to think about the changes that the implementation of an electronic signature will bring.

  • Face to face contact – signing digital documents does not require the physical presence of trusting party* and signer
  • Paperless office – many benefits of minimalisation of the use of paper in your The significant asset will be financial savings, gaining additional space, or ecological aspect.
  • Time – digital document management system means no need to scan, copy, and to send a paper version of the documents
  • Convenience – an electronic signature is mobile

*Trusting party is, in the case of electronic signature, the one which receives (trust it), so the party that receives the signature


What is the electronic signature?
According to eIDAS’ regulation, “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.” For a better understanding of what the electronic signature is, it is worth mentioning its basic features:

  • it must be used consciously by the signer,
  • it must be in electronic form,
  • it must be submitted by a natural person;

According to the definition given above, an electronic signature is, among other things, a name and a surname of an author of an e-mail that s/he put under the message. However, this kind of electronic signature requires checking the authenticity that can be undermined. There are safer solutions that have to meet certain requirements.

Advanced electronic signature
Foremost, it is unique for the signatory and allowed recognition of the signer’s identity. Signatory controls its usage and data it consists of. Placing it on the document

ensures the recognition of the changes, if any, have been made.

Qualified electronic signature
The basic assumption is to come from the definition of an advanced signature. Additional requirements that constitute qualified electronic signature are placed on a qualified certificate and submitted via a qualified device.


Safe electronic signature – eIDAS
The fundamental regulation that guarantees safe and standardised electronic transactions on the European market is eIDAS. It is also responsible for the legal framework that allows digital services to function in business and public administration.


Electronically signed documents are the evidence in legal proceedings because the electronic signature may not be denied the legal effect and, the court may not discard its probative value. [eIDAS, ar. 25]


Profil zaufany (eng. Trusted profile) and electronic signature
A trusted signature is an electronic signature that can be obtained through login.gov.pl website, and its justification is a trusted profile. Confirmation of your identity in any chosen office or through online banking is obligatory. Due to the gov electronic signature, we can sign the financial statement, ZUS’ (eng. Social Insurance Institution) documents, or PIT (eng. income tax).


In Poland, only a few companies can issue qualified certificates. Where do you buy the qualified certificate of an electronic signature? Businessmen can use such a service by:

  • Centrum (eng. Center) electronic signature
  • Szafir (eng. Safire) electronic signature
  • Sigillum electronic signature
  • Enigma electronic signature
  • EuroCert electronic signature

You should remember that certificates issued in other European countries have the same

legal power.


Trusted signatureCommercial electronic signature
  • is free
  • is chargeable
  • can be used only for the exchange of the documents between government offices
  • can be used for the exchange business documents, signing bills
  • works through trusted profile
  • works through companies, that by law, can issue qualified certificates


Electronic signature in your company
You can learn more about electronic signature and its usage in business by taking part in our training. Participants have the possibility to choose the advancement level


For those willing to implement digital documents, we prepare special offers from obserwatorium.biz and Autentia, that besides needed tools, they include a voucher for free training.


Date of publication: 9.09.2020