Digital Contracts

Digital Contracts in India: What Businesses Need to Know

In the rapidly advancing business environment of today, Digital Contracts are acing up! They are not just an innovation but a necessity, particularly in dynamic markets like India.

The traditional methods of contract management have undergoDigital Contracts in India: What Businesses Need to Knowne a significant transformation, especially in a vibrant and continually evolving market like India. No longer restricted to paper and ink, contracts have been digitized, offering businesses unprecedented levels of efficiency and agility. Mastering the complexities of these digital contracts is crucial in the Indian context, given its burgeoning tech industry and fluid legal landscape. As we delve into the critical aspects of virtual agreements in India, businesses will gain the insights they need to remain competitive in this swiftly changing sector.

Digital Contracts in India

Digital contracts are an increasingly popular way for businesses to conduct transactions and manage their affairs in India. With the Indian government recently announcing its plans to promote the use of digital contracts, it is clear that this trend is here to stay.

For businesses operating in India, it is important to understand the basics of digital contracts and how they can be used to your advantage. In this blog post, we will cover the following topics:

  1. What are digital contracts?
  2. The benefits of using digital contracts in India.
  3. How to create and sign aDigital Contracts in India: What Businesses Need to Know digital contract in India.
  4. What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating or signing a digital contract in India?

Can Contracts Be Formed Digitally?

Yes, India’s legal system allows for the formation and execution of contracts in electronic format, as outlined in Section 10-A of the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act). Furthermore, click-wrap contracts—commonly seen during online transactions—are also legally enforceable. As long as a contract meets the core requirements of the Indian Contract Act of 1872, it is deemed valid, even if executed digitally. The IT Act gives additional credence to contracts formed and accepted electronically. However, the onus of proving the contract’s authenticity falls on the party asserting its validity, especially if a digital signature is absent.

Governing Laws and Regulations

Digital contracts in India are primarily regulated by:

  1. The Indian Contract Act 1872
  2. The Information Technology Act 2000
  3. The Indian Evidence Act 1872

Additional rules under the IT Act that pertain to digital contract execution include:

  1. The Information Technology (Certifying Authorities) Rules 2000
  2. The Digital Signature (End Entity) Rules 2015
  3. The Information Technology (Use of Electronic Records and Digital Signature) Rules 2004

Another key consideration is that of electronic signatures. In India, the use of electronic signatures is permissible provided that certain conditions are met. For instance, the signature must be affixed to an electronic record in a manner that indicates the signatory’s intention to sign the record. In addition, any person who verifies the electronic signature must have consented to do so.

It is important to note that digital contracts are subject to the same rules of evidence as traditional paper contracts. This means that businesses should take care to ensure that all relevant information is accurately captured in the contract document. Any disputes that may arise from a digital contract will also be resolved in accordance with Indian law.

Data Retention and Software Legacy Requirements for Digital Contracts

An often overlooked but crucial aspect of digital contracts is the requirement for data retention and software legacy. According to Section 7 of the IT Act, the law permits electronic retention of documents, records, or information that are legally required to be kept for a specific duration. However, certain conditions must be met for the electronic retention to be deemed valid:

  1. Accessibility: The retained electronic information must be easily accessible for future reference.
  2. Format Integrity: The electronic record should either be retained in its original format or in a format that can be proven to accurately represent the original content.
  3. Traceability: Essential details that help identify the origin, destination, date, and time of dispatch or receipt of the electronic record must be included.

Meeting these requirements ensures that the electronic contracts are not only legally compliant but also stand up to scrutiny should any legal complications arise.

Benefits and Challenges of Digital Contracts

  1. Speed and Efficiency: Traditional contract processes can take a significant amount of time from drafting to signature collection. Digital contracts streamline these procedures, allowing parties to quickly negotiate, amend, and sign contracts, thereby accelerating business processes.
  2. Cost-Effective: The cost savings are immediate when you consider the reduction in paper, printing, and postage. Plus, digital storage is far more cost-effective and space-efficient compared to physical storage units filled with paper contracts.
  3. Enhanced Security: Digital contracts can incorporate advanced encryption and secure digital signatures, reducing the risk of fraud. Audit trails can track all changes and signatures, providing an added layer of security.
  4. Accessibility: Being digital, these contracts can be accessed from anywhere at any time, provided you have the right credentials. This is particularly useful for businesses with global operations and remote teams.
  5. Legal Compliance and Data Retention: With laws like the IT Act in place, digital contracts are now as legally binding as paper contracts. They also meet data retention requirements more efficiently, as electronic data can be organized and retrieved more easily than physical copies.


Digital contracts are becoming an increasingly important part of doing business in India, with their use growing exponentially. With the right understanding and preparation, businesses can take advantage of this technology to simplify their legal processes and build stronger relationships with customers. Navigating the world of digital contracts in India can be difficult at times but by following these tips, businesses will have a better chance of succeeding.

Know about Signzy’s Digital Contracting API and learn how it streamline contract management and eliminate operational bottlenecks.