How do you sign a PDF online? The most straightforward, hassle-free way is to use a dedicated electronic signature platform. A reputable platform will let you sign any PDF document in minutes. More importantly, it will keep your data safe while you do so.
I’ll walk you through how to sign a PDF online below. I will also provide some background information on online signatures and how they could be relevant to your business.
Part 1: What is an eSign and Why Might You Need It?
An electronic signature – eSign or e-signature for short – is the digital version of the pen-and-paper signature. It can be an electronic sign, symbol, or process that’s attached to a contract or a record. The signatory (the person(s) who signs) executes it with the intent to sign and authorize the document.
With electronic signatures, the whole signing process can take place digitally. Essentially, you upload a document to a signature maker platform, sign it using the tools provided, and then download it again. Online signatures are considered legally valid.
1.1 Why online signatures are superior in many ways to paper signatures
Online document signing is a more than viable alternative to paper signatures:
It works without expensive papers and printers.
The document can be passed back and forth quickly.
You don’t have to travel out of your way to sign a contract.
It’s easier and usually less expensive to maintain digital records than paper ones.
1.2 Use a reputable platform while signing an electronic document
Online signing is better only if the platform you use is up to the task. Further, e-signing is not without its risks. As such, it’s essential you use a reliable as well as secure electronic document signing platform. CocoSign is a suitable example.
CocoSign is used by individuals and businesses worldwide. It employs all the latest security protocols to protect the user’s data, such as the PCI DSS standard used to secure payment cards and, of course, HTTPS. It also complies with data sharing and privacy regulations such as the GDPR, HIPAA, and CFR.
Further, this service enjoys a solid reputation and is seen as trustworthy. It’s been featured by channels such as TheVerge, PC World, and Android Authority.
Let’s take a look at how you can use CocoSign to sign a PDF document online.
Part 2: How to Sign PDF Online with Electronic Signature for Free
You can securely sign any PDF document with CocoSign’s free electronic signature right from your PC or smartphone web browser. You don’t need to pay if you use the free version.
Signing a PDF online takes but 3 steps:
1. Upload the document
Upload the document you wish to sign on the signing page. You can drag or drop it onto the page or select it from your Google Drive, One Drive, Box or Dropbox. CocoSign supports PDF, Doc, Xls, and JPG files.
2. Sign your PDF
An editing window will appear with your document inside. You can sign the document with the help of the provided signature tools:
You can choose to draw your signature with your mouse or laptop track pad.
You can sign a piece of paper, take a photo of the signature, and then upload it.
You can simply type in your name and let the software shape a signature for you.
3. Download the file
That’s it! After a brief processing period, you can download the signed document. You will be asked to create an account before the download can proceed. To speed things up, you can also sign in with your Google account.
If you wish to have multiple signatories sign the document in sequence or use other advanced features, then you need to purchase a monthly subscription.
Part 3: What Are The Advantages of Electronically Signing a PDF?
We’ll explain some of the reasons why singing a PDF electronically could be advantageous for your business. We also discuss three reasons that make CocoSign a trustworthy solution:
3.1 Sign PDFs online – anywhere, anytime, on any device
One of the biggest benefits of signing PDFs online is that they are platform independent. That means you can sign a PDF online with any device, be it a PC or a smartphone. You can do so from your web browser.
There are no time or place restrictions either. You can do it whenever it’s convenient to you, and then have any other party sign the document when it’s convenient to them.
Here are the highlights of some of the benefits you gain by signing a PDF online:
a. A stress-free experience
You don’t need any special set up – like printers or reams of paper – to sign PDFs online. You won’t need any special technical skills either. Using a platform like CocoSign to sign a PDF is a simple, stress-free experience. It works from any internet-enabled device. You can even sign documents while offline.
b. Multi-signature support
Just like with paper documents, anyone can sign an electronic PDF. You can invite one or more people to sign the document. Their location doesn’t matter. Some platforms like CocoSign support sequential signatures. That means you can have the document signed in any order.
c. Customization options and templates
You can prepare templates of documents or contracts you sign frequently online. For example: employment contracts or rental agreements. You can store, edit, and reuse document templates and save yourself a great deal of time and effort.
Some platforms will allow you to save your signature securely. That means you can re-use it whenever you need to sign a document.
d. Extra security with digital signatures
Electronic signatures are safe but digital signatures are safer. Digital signatures are basically bound to the document and can’t be separated from them. If someone tampers with the document, you will be able to spot it. You can sign PDFs digitally with platforms like CocoSign.
If you want to learn more about how to use Cocosign, you can visit this demo here.
e. Legal validation and audit trail protection
Electronic signatures are as legally valid as paper signatures. They are accepted and legally-binding in 180+ countries worldwide at the moment, and may soon be the norm in the future. If there are any disputes, the document will hold up in court.
If you use the right platform, you also receive audit trail protection. The platform will save timestamps and other records.
f. Hastened turnaround times
Typically, when you and a second party sign a paper document in the real-world, it’s time-consuming. You create the document and then pass it to them for approval. They ask for edits and pass it back to you. You make the edits and then pass it to them.
They finally sign the document, and then you can sign the document. If you make changes to the document in the future, the whole process repeats itself. It can take weeks of your time. If you sign a PDF online, however, you can reduce turnaround times drastically.
g. Time and money savings
The most obvious benefit of online signatures is that they save you both time and money. You can sign invoices, receipts, letters, and any document under the sun in quick time. You don’t have to pay for printing costs, printer maintenance, faxing expenses, and other overheads.
3.2 What makes CocoSign trustworthy?
If you use CocoSign to sign a PDF, you can rest assured knowing your data and document will be safe. Here’s what makes the platform worth trying out in our books:
a. The platform is secure
CocoSign utilizes 256-bit SSL encryption. Any connection you make to the site is private and safe from external threats. The platform has a PCI DSS certification. Your signature is protected from hackers or being copied.
b. It complies with modern-day data laws
You can use the service for official business in 180+ countries, be it in the West or the East. The service complies with American and European data protection and privacy laws such as the CFR, the HIPAA, and the GDPR.
You don’t have to spend extra time or money acquiring such compliance on behalf of your customers and clients.
c. It’s as private as it gets
Your documents and personal data can’t be accessed by anyone but you. This includes your name, address, payment information, and any information you upload to the site when creating your account or uploading a document.
The service is actively used by businesses worldwide and is thus tried-and-tested.
CocoSign Official Website: https://cocosign.com/
Part 4: Who May Need to Use Electronic Signatures on PDFs?
When would individuals or businesses need to eSign PDFs? Below are common use cases:
Recruitment: Businesses often eSign HR-related documents, including labor contracts and non-disclosure agreements with new workers. This is popular when they work with remote teams.
Legal: Individuals often use electronic signatures to authorize letters, affidavits, and contracts like rental agreements.
Client forms and authorizations: Many businesses host client forms online. It’s easier to have clients sign forms online than have them do it manually.
Sales and services: Many online retailers and service providers ask you to agree to their terms and conditions. This is a form of electronic signature.
Petitions: When someone is petitioning for a cause and requires multiple signatures for individuals for support, they send them petitions for signing.
Any paper document you can sign in the physical world, you can convert to PDF and then sign online.
It’s never been so easy – or fast and safe – to sign a PDF online. It takes less than a minute if you use CocoSign. Switching to online signatures on PDF and other documents can bring many benefits for your business.