How much legal weight
does my e-signature need?

The law distinguishes between the qualified electronic signature (QES), the advanced electronic signature (AES) and the simple electronic signature (SES).
The three standards vary in terms of legal weight and are used for different types of documents.

SES AES QES
Legal weight
Basic
SES
Simple electronic signature
High
AES
Advanced electronic signature
Maximum
QES
Qualified electronic signature
Equal to a handwritten signature according to EU and Swiss law
Area of application

Documents
without legal form requirement and with low liability risk.

Examples:**

  • Supplier offer
  • Order
  • Internal document
  • Announcement

Documents
without legal form requirement and with calculable liability risk.

Examples:**

  • Rental agreement
  • Contract of sale
  • Simple employment contract
  • Account opening

Documents
with legal form requirements or high liability risk.
 

Examples:**

  • Consumer credit contract
  • Temporary employment contract
  • Management employment contract
  • Audit report
  • Entry with authorities
**The choice of the e-signature standard depends on applicable formal requirements and internal policies and may differ from the listed examples. Consult a legal advisor for your specific case.

More information about
Legal security, identity check and authentication methods.

QES: Legally equal to a handwritten signature

The all-round carefree solution for the highest requirements.

Two hands - One contract is signed by hand and another with a mobile phone.

The qualified electronic signature (QES) has the same legal validity as signing by hand.
You can use QES to sign contracts with maximum legal weight of your contracts or when the law requires an equivalent to a handwritten signature. The latter applies, for example, to loan or employment agreements with non-competition clause. For signing with QES on Skribble, an identity check is required. You can choose between online identification via video (EU), face-to-face identification (Switzerland) or you can use a verified electronic identity (eID).

Identity check

Identity check
This is how you can unlock QES on Skribble

QES validieren

Validate QES
Check whether a document has been signed with QES

AES: The pragmatic solution for contracts without formal requirements

Ready for immediate use thanks to lower requirements

A woman is holding an AES contract in her hand under Swiss law.

The advanced electronic signature (AES) is legally valid for contracts where the law does not require a specific form.
This applies to most types of contracts, such as rental, purchase or mortgage agreements. Anyone who has a mobile phone number or is a member of AES for Business can start signing with AES immediately.

SES: The digital handshake

The one-click solution for everyday documents

A woman sitting on a chair and signing a contract on a laptop.

The right fit for signing documents with low liability risk
It is legally valid for documents where the law does not require a specific form. Typical use cases are information letters, orders and internal documents. Anyone who has an e-mail address can start signing with SES immediately on Skribble.

QES vs. AES vs. SES at a glance

Standard Legal weight Identification requirements Area of application Examples**
QES

Maximum

  • Online identification via video (EU)/ Face-to-face identification (Switzerland)/ verified eID and
  • Mobile phone number
  • Documents with legal form requirements (requiring the written form)
  • Maximising the legal weight of contracts without formal requirement (risk minimisation)
  • Consumer credit contract
  • Temporary employment contracts
  • Management employment contracts
  • Audit reports
  • Entries with authorities
  • Contracts of high value or long duration
AES

High

  • Swiss mobile phone number or
  • AES-enabled company e-mail address
  • Documents without legal form requirement and with calculable liability risk
  • Rental agreement
  • Contract of sale
  • Simple employment contract
  • Account opening
  • Mortgages
SES

Basic

  • E-mail address
  • Documents without formal requirements with low liability risk
  • Supplier offers
  • Orders
  • Organization internal documents
  • Announcements
  • Information letters
  • Informal documents

**The choice of the e-signature standard depends on applicable formal requirements and internal policies and may differ from the listed examples. Consult a legal advisor for your specific case.

Do you have any questions? We will be happy to help you.

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