Vietnam has recognized electronic signatures (or “eSignatures”) since 2005, with the passage of The Civil Code No. 33/2005/QH11 and the Law on E-Transactions No. 51/2005/QH11. eSignatures are common in Vietnam and are used by the majority of Vietnamese enterprises.
Under Vietnamese law, a written signature is not required for a valid agreement or contract. Contracts are generally considered valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically, or using a physical document.
The Law on E-Transactions specifically confirms that contracts cannot be denied enforceability just because they are created electronically. It allows that an electronic signature can be used to replace a traditional handwritten signature if the following conditions are met:
- The method used to sign identifies the signer and indicates their approval of the contents of the signed document; and
- The method used to sign is sufficiently reliable and appropriate for the purpose of the signed document.
Common eSignature use cases
Use cases where electronic signatures are considered appropriate in Vietnam include:
- HR documents such as NDAs, benefit paperwork, privacy notices, and other new employee onboarding documents
- Purchase, procurement, and commercial agreements between corporate entities including invoices, trade and payment terms, sales and distribution agreements, and NDAs
- Consumer agreements including new retail account opening documents, sales and service terms, invoices, shipment details, and user manuals
- Service agreements
- Residential and commercial real estate lease agreements
Use cases where eSignature is not appropriate
Certain use cases are specifically barred from electronic processes or require formal notarization in Vietnam, making them incompatible with electronic signature. These include:
- Contracts related to real property transfer
- Intangible property transfers
- Transfer of movable assets
Technology standards in Vietnam
The requirements for electronic signature technology vary significantly between countries. Vietnam follows a tiered eSignature model, which recognizes different types of electronic signature. Similar to the EU’s eIDAS regulations, a simple electronic signature is sufficient for most use cases but may require extra evidence to support it if a dispute arises.
The information on this site is for general education and informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide and should not be considered legal advice. Laws pertaining to electronic signatures may change quickly, so Conga cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information on this site. Consult with a licensed attorney for answers to any specific legal questions on this topic.
Last updated: 09/09/2021