As a European Union (EU) member state, Sweden accepts e signatures as legally binding in legal and business settings. The country first recognized electronic signatures in 2000 when the EU passed the Qualified Electronic Signatures Act. Later, the Electronic Identification Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) regulation was enacted in 2016, and e signatures became legal across all members of the EU.
What is Sweden’s legal model like?
Sweden is run under a civil law system. This kind of system originated in Europe and borrowed a lot from the Roam law. Currently, Civil Law systems make up 65 percent of the World’s legal systems. Here is a summary of how Civil Law Systems work:
- The system centers on a written constitution which preserve the rights of its nationals
- The system is based on codified laws that are regularly and continuously revised to establish legal processes.
- In certain systems, legal scholars can somewhat influence judicial courts.
- Under Civil Law systems, the emphasis on judicial precedent is minimal.
Regulations affecting businesses in Sweden
The parliament is responsible for enacting new laws in Sweden while the government issues regulations. Below is a list of regulations percent are likely to affect how businesses operate in Sweden.
- Consumer Sales Act (1990)
- Electronic Communications Act (2003)
- Contracts Act (1915)
- Sales of Goods Act (1990)
- E-commerce Act (2002)
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (2016)
- Price Information Act (2004)
- Distance and Off-Premises Contracts Act (2005
- Product Safety Act (2004)
- Marketing Practices Act (2008)
- Consumer Credit Act (2010)
- Supplementary GDPR provisions that Sweden added in 2018
Electronic signature laws in Sweden
According to Swedish law, a contract is deemed to be valid if competent parties reach a written, electronic, or verbal agreement. The parties, though, may be required to prove that the contract is compelling in a court of law.
That said, according to Chapter 35, Sec. 1 of the Swedish Code of Judicial Procedure, e-records can be used to prove the legitimacy of a contract.
The eIDAS regulation
The eIDAS regulation became effective in 2016 and had since been offering a legal structure for secure electronic transactions across all European member states, including Sweden. The law provides public authorities and businesses with the legal confidence to use electronic signatures when executing transactions electronically.
The eIDAS regulation differentiates e signs from other emerging trust services like timestamps, seals, website authentication certificates, and registered delivered services. While reinforcing the legally binding status of electronic signatures expressed in Directive 1999/93/EC, the eIDAS regulation became the first legal act that emphasized on non-discrimination of e-documents at the European Union level. And since the law is more of regulation as opposed to a directive, it has a mandatory and direct applicable force in all European Union member states.
More so, eIDAS defines three different types of e signatures:
- Standard Electronic Signatures (SES) – This can be described as data in electronic form, which is logically attached to other data in electronic form, and which is generally used by the signee to sign.
- Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES) – E signature that is uniquely attached to the signatory party, capable of identifying the signatory party, created using data that the signatory party, can use under their sole control. An AES is linked to the data signed in a manner that any changes made subsequently are detectable.
- Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) – This is an advanced e sign that is created by qualified e signature creation device, and based on a qualified certificate for e signatures.
When is a Standard E signature appropriate?
In the following instances, an SES is appropriate:
- Commercial agreements between corporate organizations, including purchase orders, Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), invoices, sales agreements, order acknowledgments, distribution agreements, services agreements, etc.
- Software license agreements
- Licenses of intellectual property, including copyright, patent, and trademark.
- HR documents, such as typical employment contracts, employee invention agreements, NDAs, benefits paperwork, privacy notices, and other new employee onboarding documents, except termination notices.
- Commercial and residential lease agreements
- Consumer agreements, including new retail account opening, service terms, consumer credit agreements, purchase orders, shipment documents, order confirmations, software licenses, user manuals, and policies.
Are there any situations where electronic signatures aren’t appropriate?
Below are a few occasions where a wet-ink signature would be necessary:
- Employee termination letters
- Documents that must be notarized
- Signing share certificates
- Documents which transfer the rights to a property or an asset.
- Signing issue certificates
- Certain corporate certificates or documents
Can I use Foxit eSign aka eSign Genie signing software in Sweden?
Yes, Foxit eSign aka eSign Genie signing software can be used in Sweden and other EU member states. Our in-built electronic signature software is eIDAS compliant. And after every document is signed, you will get an electronic form. This will help you to validate the contracts effortlessly whenever there is a need.
Take advantage of our 14-day free trial if you wish to learn more about software and how it can work for your Sweden based business.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this Foxit eSign aka eSign Genie blog is for general purposes only and is not meant for companies to use as legal advice. Please confer with your attorney for legal consultation for your location and specific use cases.21