The last few centuries have seen paper-based documents and manuscript signatures dominate the way businesses enter into a contractual relationship with each other. With the advent of Internet, replacing paper-based contracts with B2B electronic contracts is a possibility. However, an appropriate technology and an enabling legislation are crucial for this change to happen. On the technology front this feature has the potential to enable business executives to sit in front of their computer and sign multi-million dollar deals by using their electronic signatures. On the legal front various pieces of legislation have been enacted and policies developed at both national and international levels to give legal recognition to such type of contracts. This book presents the findings of an empirical study on large public listed Australian companies that examined businesses’ perception towards the use of electronic signatures in B2B contracts. Essentially, it identifies six key factors that create a disincentive to businesses to move from the practice of paper- based signatures to the new technology of electronic signatures. This book offers legal practitioners, academics and businesses insights into issues associated with the use of electronic signatures and suggests a number of measures to promote its usage in B2B contracts.
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