Permanent changes for electronic execution by companies

March 7, 2022

At the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic, temporary legislation was passed to allow for companies to electronically sign documents to create greater access and convenience for companies during lockdowns.  This change impacted many types of documents, including deeds, agreements and leases.

Software programs such as DocuSign and SignIt were quickly embraced by the legal industry, as signing documents electronically became the standard approach.

Wilson Lawyers is pleased to hear that the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Act 2022 was passed on the 22 February 2022, approving electronically executed documents as a permanent mechanism moving forward under sections 126 and 127 of the Corporations Act 2001.

Key changes include:

  • An individual acting for a company can sign a document electronically (including a deed) under sections 126 and 127 of the Corporations Act 2001, on the basis that the method identifies the individual signing and indicates the individual’s intention regarding the information recorded in the document.
  • Section 126 of the Corporation Act 2001 is amended to allow an agent to make, vary, ratify, discharge and execute a document (including a deed) on behalf of a company with express or implied consent. There is no requirement for the agent to be appointed by a deed.
  • There is no specific technology required when executing a document, meaning multiple methods can be used to sign a single document (physical and electronic signing).

Important Notice: The information in this article is current as at 7 March 2022. It is for general purposes only and should not be considered or relied upon as legal advice. The law is complex and you should always obtain specific legal advice about your circumstances from a qualified legal practitioner. If you require legal advice, please contact our office to see how we can help.

Written by Sam Rose, Lawyer, Wilson Lawyers.