The Prince’s Government is offering businesses in Monaco a new service: the issue of digital certificates. These will allow businesses to affix a qualified electronic signature or stamp (recognised within Monaco) to digital documents.
Electronic signatures and stamps are equivalent to a handwritten signature or company stamp
Electronic signatures and electronic stamps certify and protect the authenticity and integrity of a document.
Electronic signatures have the same legal value as handwritten signatures: they enjoy the same prerogatives and are binding on signatories in the same way as a handwritten signature.
All company documents can be signed electronically: quotes, agreements, contracts, orders, invoices, purchase or delivery orders, payslips, certificates, etc.
All types of file can be signed electronically (Word documents, PDFs, JPG, XML files, etc.). However, PDF is a particularly common format because it offers good document stability and can be signed electronically by several people.
Electronic signature and stamp certificates are issued to businesses in Monaco by the Business Development Agency.
The difference between electronic signatures and stamps
An electronic signature is linked to an individual (representing a legal entity) while an electronic stamp is linked to a legal entity, just like the company stamp or "sea".
Types of electronic certificate issued
The Business Development Agency issues two types of certificate:
- Electronic signature certificates allow individuals representing legal entities to sign a document (this is the digital equivalent of a handwritten signature provided in a professional capacity)
- Electronic stamp certificates can be used to affix the digital equivalent of the company stamp or “seal”. The stamp certificates are issued on a smart card (simple stamp) or other dedicated media (server stamp) to enable stamps to be affixed automatically to multiple files
Advantages for companies
- Time saving: there is no longer a need to print and send paper originals to customers, suppliers, employees, etc.
- Increased document security: each signature guarantees the integrity of the document, its authenticity and non-repudiation (i.e. it cannot be questioned by one of the parties). Thanks to the probative value of the electronic signature, businesses' partners can have confidence in dematerialised documents
- Space saving, cost reduction and an eco-responsible initiative: reduces printing, paper archiving and forwarding of documents
- Ease of use: using the USB key reader supplied and a digital signature compatible software, documents can be signed easily
- Smoother customer relations: contractual activities can be carried out remotely by exchanging digital documents that have probative value