In the past, contracts are drafted, signed, and executed on paper, offering a standard source of legal authority that parties could agree to. However, with the rise of the internet and "work from home" setups, physical documents have become outdated and inefficient.
Online agreements have fundamentally transformed how business is done. Now, flexible and modern systems make it easier to track and maintain accountability between parties. However, not all online agreements are the same. Contrary to popular belief, there are many different types, uses, and styles of operation for online agreements.
What Are Online Agreements?
Online agreements have become standard across the internet for a variety of business needs. The electronic distribution, reading, and signing of legal documents are each much more accessible and offer faster ways to see contracts through to completion.
While all online agreements are used to create legally binding terms between parties, the ways through which they’re implemented can differ, depending on the type of agreement implemented. The three types of online agreements online are “sign-in wrap” agreements, browsewrap, and clickwrap contracts. Let's explore each type:
“Sign-In Wrap” Agreements
A “sign-in wrap” agreement provides the user with a written notice displaying the terms of service that they must agree to before they can even access the website or service. Users are never required to check a box or even agree to the notice, making them a tenuous method for ensuring legal compliance.
It’s important to note, though, that these types of agreements are not usually legally enforceable and that users aren’t usually obligated to abide by any specific standards of practice when accessing the site.
Clickwrap contracts are designed to be more like a digital version of a traditional contract, giving users several options, pages, or buttons to click through before deciding whether to agree to the terms. Clickwrap agreements are fully enforceable and are designed with legal compliance in mind.
Malbek is reimagining clickwrap contracts with Klix, our new, one-click solution for online agreements. Klix gives users non-negotiated check box agreements to make contracts both enforceable and easy to use. A clickwrap contract solution such as Klix can be used in a variety of contexts.
What Industries Use Online Agreements?
In short, everyone uses online agreements to some extent. Online agreements lower costs, reduce waste, and improve the delivery of services. For most businesses, this is a win-win. The ability to securely distribute, manage, and collect signatures is essential for those that have a large volume of users.
Online agreements are used across multiple industries, making them a standard practice for much of the digital marketplace. Businesses that are B2C (or business-to-customer) use them the most. Some examples include:
Why Are They So Easy to Get Wrong?
It is easy to click and go forward with online agreements for customers. For the organization, they can present huge legal challenges.
The biggest challenge is ensuring you won’t have unexpected legal recourse down the line due to improperly managed legal agreements. Getting online agreements right means understanding how to create legally binding documents that are accepted by all parties.
An online agreement must adhere to these four principles to be legally binding:
1. Clear Screen Design: The agreement must have an uncluttered look, readable fonts, and action or button text that matches the language in the agreement.
2. Reasonable Notice: The agreement must make it clear that the customer is agreeing to terms and must have the opportunity to read the terms before agreeing.
3. Objective Manifestation of Assent: Organizations must collect a user's assent to the agreement by requiring them to affirmatively agree.
4. Documentation: A company must be able to prove the agreement was signed and be able to present when the agreement was accepted, what was said in the agreement, and what the screen looked like when the agreement was accepted.
Maintaining compliance and avoiding lawsuits is the entire point of using an online agreement, but not all services are created equal. There are specific legal measures and requirements that must be covered within the document for it to be compliant. Furthermore, the type of online agreement must be compliant with the government that will be enforcing it, so it’s important to have a partner that understands how to draft a legal document and present it through valid means to users.
Malbek Is the Modern Solution to Online Agreements
If you want to make sure your online agreements are valid, don’t rely on unverified providers to validate your contracts. At Malbek, we’re reimagining how contracts are managed by introducing a fully-integrated platform for designing, signing, verifying, and executing contracts in real time.
Malbek created Klix as an all-in-one solution to online agreements, so you can get straight to doing business. Not only is Klix easy to configure, but it’s also easy to track, allowing you to enforce online agreements from a single unified platform. Klix gives you all of the collaboration with none of the risk.
If you want to execute clickwrap contracts with peace of mind, then Klix is the solution for you. Request your demo today!