Name
Global FinTech Guide
Country Name
Uruguay
SectionTitle
Signature requirements
Body
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

There are no specific formal requirements for making a binding declaration of intention. It is common practice to execute a written declaration. However, the declaration could also be made electronically. Please refer to Specific form requirements question c).

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

Under Uruguayan law there is no formal requirement to effectively conclude a loan agreement (verbal consent is enough). However, it is common practice to execute a written agreement regulating the terms of the loan. The execution of a written agreement is also advisable for facilitating proof in a potential claim.

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

Electronic signatures are permitted and regulated by Law No. 18,600, which provides for two different types of electronic signature:

  1. Non-Advanced Electronic Signatures: Are those electronic signatures whose use needs to be accepted by the parties involved, in order to be valid and binding for the party that uses it. In this sense, parties are free to agree upon the acceptance of documents signed with an electronic signature. In case the electronic signature is disputed by one of the parties, it is up to the other party to prove its validity. Some illustrative examples of what might be regarded as non-advanced electronic signatures are: entering username and password, using a credit card, clicking on a checkbox on the computer, signing with an electronic pencil, biometrics, etc. On the other hand, by no means a simple scan of a wet ink signature may be considered as an electronic signature.  
  2. Advanced Electronic Signatures: Are those electronic signatures that do not require any kind of agreement between parties in order to be valid and binding, but it must comply with the following standards: (1) information that only the subscriber knows, thus allowing his/her unequivocal identification; (2) is created by means that the subscriber is able to keep under his/her exclusive control; (3) may be verified by third parties; (4) is embedded into a digital document in a way that allows for any subsequent alteration of that document to be detected; and (5) is created using a signature creating device (a.k.a. token) which is technically secure and trustworthy and based on a certifying method that is used and acknowledged at the time that the signature is made. An advanced electronic signature has the same validity and effects as a wet ink signature placed on a duly certified private or public document. As of today, the only registered service providers are: El Correo (the official mail), Abitab, ANTEL, and the Ministry of Interior.

Moreover, the conclusion of a contract by using an electronic signature is not yet a common practice in Uruguay, although in the last couple of years has gained ground as a practical solution to the travel restrictions related to the pandemic. Now, everything suggests that it will gradually become more widespread.

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

It will depend on the required formality. As a general rule, the contract will not be effective until the formal requirement is fulfilled. In certain cases, the contract will be deemed null and void (i.e., real estate property sale). 
 

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2B sector

In some cases, there are no written agreements executed. Sale of goods and provision of services are documented with invoices. In certain cases, written agreements are signed by means of a pre-printed form, which is handed to the consumer.

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2C sector

Agreements are usually executed in wet handwritten signatures with all parties present. In some cases, agreements are executed in counterparts. Moreover, in some specific cases in which a notary´s intervention is required by law, agreements are executed with certified signatures. 

In the tech arena agreements, it is becoming very common to obtain an electronic consent, by clicking an electronic acceptance (after obtaining relevant users ID and passwords and keeping evidence of the same).

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© 2022, (Erased); Guyer & Regules. All rights reserved by (Erased); Guyer & Regules as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. (Erased); Guyer & Regules has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this guide.

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

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