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Signature requirements
The signature requirements pertain the legal or contractual requirements in order to make a legally effective declaration of intent or a legally binding contract.

Possibility to replace a specific formal requirement of making a binding declaration of intention

According to Art. 11 para. 1 CO the validity of a contract is not subject to compliance with any particular form unless a particular form is prescribed by a specific provision of the law. However, if the law requires a specific form, such need to be obeyed and may not be replaced. 

Presence of any specific formal requirements to effectively conclude a loan agreement

No. Only the consumer credit agreement requires the written form and, depending on the agreement, must contain statutory information.

Process of conclusion of a contract by using a qualified electronic signature in practice

According to the CO, an authenticated electronic signature combined with an authenticated time stamp is deemed equivalent to a handwritten signature, subject to any statutory or contractual provision to the contrary.

A list of recognised providers may be accessed via the following link (last accessed on 4 May 2022):

Legal consequences to a contract in case of not fulfilling formal requirements

In principle, if a contract does not fulfil its formal requirements it is not legally binding. The CO states that in the absence of any provision to the contrary on the significance and effect of formal requirements prescribed by law, the contract is valid only if such requirements are satisfied.

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2B sector

It is still very common to have agreements with handwritten signature. However, more and more B2B contracts are signed via electronic signature.

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2C sector

B2C contract are mainly signed in handwritten signature. Nevertheless, no reliable data are available.



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