Those who use a scanned signature for inclusion in the invoices they raise via e-mail should be aware of the vital role the signature plays in the authentication of the invoice’s origin and substantive integrity, as confirmation that the invoice has not substantively been tampered with, coupled with message-locked encryption enabling the sender to be authenticated. These criteria together with that of the invoice having to be legible must be complied with from the moment the invoice is raised until its retention period has expired.
Does a scanned signature suffice as proof of the authenticity of the associated invoice? This question was recently raised in the Lower House of the Dutch Parliament. Authenticity is warranted on condition that use should be made either of an advanced signature as defined in Directive 1999/93 EC or of electronic data interchange as defined in the Commission Recommendation 1994/820 EC. This is not the case if the scanned signature in question fails to qualify as an advanced signature, although such a (non-advanced) signature will still suffice on condition that it should be accompanied by supplementary evidence such as price quotes, packing slips, earlier bank statements, et cetera.
Dutch version: Gescande handtekening